There are a number of ways that stress can cause problems for your health. It can cause everything from depression and restlessness to headaches, over-eating, sore muscles, and insomnia. It can eventually lead to even more serious problems like heart attacks, which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor if you do have a lot of stress in your life. You can also start adding more nutritious foods to your diet that contain these stress-relieving vitamins.
1. VITAMIN C
A study presented to the American Chemical Society by Samuel Campbell, Ph.D. in the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1999 revealed that vitamin C can help to normalize the levels of the hormones which are released during stress and that cause many of the health problems mentioned above. The study found that both cortisol and corticosterone levels were reduced with regular consumption of vitamin C.
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin C include mangoes, oranges, leafy greens, and cranberries.
2. VITAMIN A
Vitamin A is well-known for being a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help your body deal with stress and the changes in the body that are caused by stress. By eating foods that are high in vitamin A, you will help your body fight against the stress hormones and get your hormone levels back to normal.
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin A include pumpkin, fish oils, meat, carrots, pink grapefruit, eggs, and halibut.
3. VITAMIN B1
This vitamin helps with stress relief so much that it’s often referred to as being an “anti-stress vitamin.” What vitamin B1 does is that it helps your body deal with stress by encouraging your body to produce more adenosine triphosphate. This chemical is what carries energy into your cells so that they can function properly. Vitamin B1 can also help strengthen your immune system.
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B1 include pork, enriched cereals, and wheat germ.
4. VITAMIN B6
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 helps boost your body’s production of norephinephrine and serotonin. These two hormones are both extremely important mood regulators, and not having enough can lead to stress and depression. Because vitamin B6 actually helps to build serotonin, it’s a vital part of reducing the effects of stress in your life.
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B6 include carrots, sunflower seeds, shrimp, tuna, turkey, and spinach.
5. VITAMIN B12
This vitamin is an essential component to healthy brain function. It not only helps people cope with depression, but it can also prevent dementia and confusion. Unfortunately, there are many people that suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency such as the elderly, those with gastrointestinal conditions or pernicious anemia, and vegetarians and vegans. The elderly lack sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acids in their stomachs which is what helps absorb this vitamin, and vegetarians and vegans may not be getting enough vitamin B12 since it is found primarily in animal products. Because of its importance, it is recommended that you take a vitamin B12 supplement in addition to including foods that are rich in vitamin B12.
Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B12 include red meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, and fortified cereals.