Stress affects your health, possibly resulting in symptoms such as restlessness, depression, overeating, headaches, sleeping problems or sore muscles. See your doctor if you are stressed, as it can cause other medical problems, such as a heart attack. If you are stressed, you should consider supplementing your diet with nutritious foods that are rich in specific vitamins, as they may be effective in reducing or treating stress.
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Vitamin C may be effective in helping to alleviate stress, according to Samuel Campbell, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who presented his findings before the American Chemical Society in 1999. A regular, adequate intake of vitamin C may help to alter the body's normal response when dealing with stress. Campbell's study found that vitamin C helps to reduce the levels of cortisol and corticosterone, the stress hormones in your blood. Vitamin C is rich in certain foods, such as cooked leafy greens, mango, oranges and cranberries.
Vitamin A, because of its antioxidant properties, can help you deal with stress. Vitamin A is essential for stress reduction as its antioxidants aid your body in its ability to cope with stress and its associated symptoms efficiently. Vitamin A can be found in many foods such as fish oil, pumpkin, spinach, meat, carrots, eggs, pink grapefruit and halibut.
Vitamin B-1 is often referred to as an "anti-stress" vitamin, as it improves your body's ability to deal with stress and also enhances the strength of your immune system. You should consider increasing intake of vitamin B-1 in your diet if you are suffering from stress, as it can help to promote the production of adenosine triphosphate, an important carrier of energy that your cells use for energy. Vitamin B-1 can be found in foods like enriched cereals, pork and wheat germ.
Vitamin B-6, or pyridoxine, helps your body deal with stress by assisting in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, two hormones responsible for influencing your blood. Low levels of serotonin in your body may result in depression or stress, and vitamin B-6 helps to manufacture serotonin, so it's essential to have an adequate supply of vitamin B-6 in your diet. Good sources of vitamin B-6 include foods such as sunflower seeds, carrots, turkey, shrimp, spinach and tuna.