Your nervous system relies on certain nutrients to keep it functioning at optimal efficiency. Prolonged stress can leave you in a nutritionally depleted state with imbalances or deficiencies in these substances that can lead to nerve damage, poor nerve conduction, or physical or mental irritability. Identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies can help calm your nerves and restore them to proper functioning. Consult your doctor for advice on using vitamins to treat a medical condition.
Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium are two important nutrient minerals for promoting calm nerves. These minerals work together to signal proper contraction and relaxation of the muscles. They also help with protein and energy production. Magnesium also helps with absorption of other vitamins. Your nerves use calcium to transmit impulses between nerves. A study published in the January 2011 issue of the "Journal of the American Geriatric Society" found that magnesium combined with zinc and melatonin -- the hormone that regulates your body's day and night cycles -- improved quality of sleep in long-term care facility residents with insomnia.
Some B-complex vitamins may be helpful at calming nerves and relieving nerve pain. A study published in the 2006 issue of the journal "Pharmacology" found that vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine; vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine; and B-12, or cyanocobalamin, reduced pain sensitivity in laboratory animals and may be useful in treating nerve-related pain in humans. However, clinical trials are still needed to confirm these preliminary results.
Get plenty of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, to promote calm nerves. Vitamin D increases your body's absorption of calcium and phosphorus. If you are getting your vitamin D directly from sunshine exposure, you will also promote calm nerves by increasing circulation and oxygen delivery to cells throughout your body, says Celeste Lee, author of the book "Understanding the Body Organs: And the Eight Laws of Health." The increased circulation from sunshine exposure also leads to a lower resting heart rate and calmer nerves later on.
Food vs. Supplements
Obtain vitamins from natural sources for optimal benefits. Synthetic vitamins have lower effectiveness than food-derived vitamins. Nutrition science has revealed that many vitamins are present in various forms within a food or across different foods, each offering slightly different absorbability and effects in your body. Vitamins also form complexes with surrounding food molecules and without those synergistic molecules, their benefits are lessened.
- "Journal of the American Geriatric Society"; The Effect of Melatonin, Magnesium and Zinc on Primary Insomnia in Long-Term Care Facility Residents in Italy; M. Rondanelli, et al.; January 2011
- "Pharmacology"; Thiamine and Cyanocobalamin Relieve Neuropathic Pain in Rats: Synergy With Dexamethasone; N. Caram-Salas, et al.; 2006
- "The Everything Health Guide to Controlling Anxiety: Professional Advice to ... "; Diane Peters Mayer; 2005