As part of my Healthy Tips for Stressful Times series, I wanted to share my six favourite supplements that are a huge help when dealing with stress and anxiety.
If you feel like you have been especially on edge lately, maybe even tearing at the seams a little, flooding your body with these stress and anxiety busting nutrients can be a big help. I think that whether or not you’re going through an especially hard time, supplementing with these nutrients just makes life better. Most of these nutrients focus on supporting the the adrenal glands, nervous system and brain, but they also help to improve your overall health.
This earth alkali mineral is considered to be a natural tranquilizer and an anti-stress mineral! It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is necessary in over 300 biochemical processes! Almost everyone is deficient in magnesium due to the nutrient depletion of our soil producing nutrient depleted food.
How Magnesium Helps With Stress & Anxiety
- Nervous system relaxant, reducing the feeling of irritability, fear and restlessness
- Natural muscle relaxer, which helps exceptionally well with anxiety
- Mood stabilizer that promotes an overall feeling of calm
- Can enhance sleep quality which helps us deal better with stress
Magnesium can really help us sleep when taken before bed. You can even get extra magnesium into your system by soaking in an epsom salt bath or using a magnesium body spray.
Add These High Magnesium Foods to Your Day
Pumpkin, flax and chia seeds, nuts, black beans, spinach, swiss chard, quinoa, buckwheat, bananas, avocado
Where magnesium is the anti-stress mineral, B-Complex is the anti-stress vitamin. B-complex is a group of vitamins that are essential to our bodies. They are the catalysts for many important body processes, like energy production. Stress depletes B vitamins, so it’s important to keep the levels up.
How B-Complex Helps With Stress & Anxiety
- Keeps irritability at bay by providing daily energy necessary to deal with stressful situations
- Supports the adrenal glands and helps to manage stress hormone production
- Helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels, which can help prevent anxiety
- Involved in regulating mood, stress response, brain fitness and other processes that can accumulatively reduce stress
B-Complex is best taken in the morning, and for best absorption, choose a liquid version.
Add These High B-Vitamin Foods to Your Day
Free range eggs, yogurt, cheese, kefir, left green veggies, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, nutritional yeast
We have all heard about taking vitamin C to fight a cold, but this nutrient is super effective for curbing anxiety and stress.
How Vitamin C Helps With Stress & Anxiety
- Vitamin C lowers the secretion of cortisol, the hormone that triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to reduce oxidative stress on the nervous system, minimizing both the physical and psychological effects of stress
- People with more vitamin C in their blood bounce back from stressful situations faster than those with lower levels
Try Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids for super absorption:
Add These High Vitamin C Foods to Your Day
Red peppers, kiwifruit, mango, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, parsley, brussel sprouts, cauliflower
This is one of my favourites. I feel it feeding my brain and there’s a difference in my sense of calm and wellbeing shortly after I take it. Our brains are made mostly of fat, and a lot of that fat is known as lecithin. Boosting the lecithin in our bodies boosts our brains and also has other health benefits like lubricating joints, liver detoxification and supporting heart health.
How Sunflower Lecithin Helps With Stress & Anxiety
- Helps us create, repair and strengthen brain and nerve cells
- Great source of choline, which is vital for brain health and high cognitive function
- Choline is also a precursor to acetylcholine, the primary neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us get into a rest and relaxation mode
- Protects nerve fibres, supporting the flow of messages throughout the nervous system, keeping mood swings, agitation and anxiety at bay
Make sure to use sunflower lecithin and not soy lecithin. Most soy sources are from genetically modified crops, where there are currently no genetically modified sunflower crops.
Some people prefer the powder to the liquid, as the liquid has a consistency similar to thick motor oil. It’s fine for smoothies though.
You can mix lecithin into your oatmeal, soups, salad dressings and smoothies.
Add These High Lecithin Foods to Your Day
Sunflower seeds, of course! And egg yolks.
Add Food Sources of Choline Too
Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, chickpeas, navy beans
L-theanine is an amino acid and another one of my favourite nutrients for stress and anxiety. I can take this during the day for concentration or at night for sleep. With l-theanine, it seems the trick is that whatever you focus on, it helps with. So if you’re focused on a project it can be a concentration aid, or if you are using it for sleep, take a few deep breaths and let it help you relax and doze off.
How L-theanine Helps With Stress & Anxiety
- Increases brain levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that help to elevate mood and curb anxiety
- Reduces anxiety by increasing alpha brain wave activity to levels that are similar to those during meditation (this may seems weird, but I have noticed it makes me more psychic too)
- Promotes relaxation, improves focus and reduces stress
Food Sources of L-theanine
Green tea is the best source of l-theanine. If you are avoiding caffeine, you can get decaffeinated green tea.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are the ‘good fats’ that we always hear about. They are essential fats, which means that our bodies don’t produce them. We need to get them from food.
How Omega 3 Helps With Stress & Anxiety
- Beneficial for the function and development of the brain, meaning we are better equipped to think clearly and handle stressful situations
- Anxiety and depression can be due to or exacerbated by mild inflammation of the brain which can cause a breakdown of signalling between cells; Omega-3 fatty acids are an anti-inflammatory that can prevent this
- Has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, which is often closely linked with anxiety disorders
I suggest a vegetarian source to avoid the dangers of mercury in modern fish oil.
Add These High Omega-3 Rich Foods to Your Day
Fish, like salmon, is high on the list of foods high in omega-3, but it’s hard to find fish that is safe to eat these days. To avoid high concentrations of mercury, antibiotics and pesticides, try other sources of omega-3s like walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and organic eggs.
Well, there you have it. My six favourite go-to supplements for stress and anxiety, plus some foods that you can add to your daily meals and snacks to promote good feelings.
May you have ALL of the good feelings. 🙂