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These Vitamins Can Help With Stress & Anxiety

If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, then you’re not alone. 

A UK survey by YouGov discovered that 74% of people felt so stressed they were overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s seriously concerning. This explains why hospital admissions caused by stress-related illnesses in the UK cost over £8 billion yearly. 

Now you’ve probably heard the typical advice for reducing stress and anxiety - sleep more, seek help, do more exercise etc. While these are all practical steps, there’s one thing many people fail to mention - getting enough vitamins, minerals and amino acids to support a healthy mind and a balanced nervous system. 

With the right nutritional approach to brain care, you can tackle your day’s challenges with less stress and anxiety. 

So in this post, we’ve gathered all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids that will help you take some proactive steps today and prevent further problems down the road. 

Vitamins for combating stress & anxiety

Vitamin A

Research has found that some people who suffer from anxiety also have a vitamin A deficiency, which means that it could be a contributing factor for you. 

Vitamin A is an antioxidant and essential nutrient that supports the nervous system and helps relax your muscles. Having a strong and well-balanced nervous system will help you minimise stress in the body and brain, reducing the chance of panic attacks. 

The recommended intake of vitamin A

  • Men aged 19-64 should get 0.7mg of vitamin A daily. Women in this age bracket should be getting 0.6mg. 

Food and supplements containing vitamin A

The internet will tell you that beef and lamb liver are some of the richest sources of vitamin A, with 713% DV and 236% DV per 100 grams. Truthfully - we don’t always recommend liver as your go-to source for a few reasons: 

  1. Liver is not everyone’s cup of tea.
  2. As a fat-soluble vitamin, consuming too much can cause build-up in your body and possible health issues further down the line. 

So instead of liver, add foods that contain the pre-cursor to vitamin A, beta-carotene to your diet, which is much safer at higher levels, it’s found in sweet potatoes, fish, spinach, broccoli, carrots, avocados and eggs. If you want to make things even simpler - our Multivits daily supplement will also provide you with the daily recommended dose. 

B Vitamins

B vitamins will help your body manage levels of an amino acid which is naturally produced by the body called ‘homocysteine’, but which at high levels, is linked to cognitive impairment and cardiovascular disease. This can help lift and stabilise your mood, reduce stress and help better manage anxiety. B12, in particular, is considered an important brain and nervous system micronutrient and is often recommended for anxiety if found to be deficient. 

The recommended intake of B vitamins

The daily recommended amount of B vitamins are:

  • B1/Thiamin: 1mg for men, 0.8mg for women 
  • B2/Riboflavin: 1.3mg for men, 1.1mg for women 
  • B3/Niacin: 16.5mg for men, 13.2mg for women
  • B5/Pantothenic acid: No amount has been set in the UK
  • B6: 1.4mg a day for men, 1.2mg a day for women
  • B7/Biotin: 30mcg a day for men and women 
  • B9/Folate acid: 200mcg for men and women
  • B9: 200mcg for men and women, 400mcg up to 12 weeks pregnant
  • B12: 1.5mcg for men and women

Food and supplements containing B vitamins 

Some fantastic sources of B vitamins include salmon, leafy greens, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, eggs, milk, whole grains and some fortified cereals. 

But what if I’m vegan, you might ask? At Get More Vits, we’ve got you covered! Our B vitamins drink contain all the essential nutrients while being vegan-friendly. If you’re only looking for B12 in particular, we have daily tablets and sprays to help you hit your daily intake goal. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another antioxidant which is commonly associated with stress, anxiety and mood regulation. The vitamin works by combating oxidative damage to your nervous system, which helps support healthy and stable moods, according to a study performed on students. We also need vitamin C to produce the stress hormone cortisol, and periods of chronic stress will mean a greater requirement for vitamin C. 

The recommended intake of vitamin C

40mg of vitamin C is a healthy amount for adults aged between 19 to 64, while for optimal health up to 1000mg is considered safe.

Food and supplements containing vitamin C

Fruit and veg are bursting with vit C. So next time you go food shopping, stock up on fresh or frozen berries, citrus fruits and broccoli. 

If you happen to be in Sainsbury's, then take a little stroll down the drinks aisle, as you’re likely to find one of our vitamin drinks that will help you hit your vit C goal. We also have a delicious vit C drink online that contains a whopping 160mg or 200% of your RDA!

Minerals for combating stress & anxiety

Magnesium

Magnesium regulates neurotransmitters, which send messages through our brains and bodies. This means if your body isn’t getting enough magnesium, then there’s a chance your brain and body are not responding to stress and anxiety as well as they could. 

The recommended intake of magnesium of 300mg is a healthy amount for men aged 19-64. A healthy amount for women in this age bracket is 270mg. 

Food and supplements containing magnesium

There are plenty of magnesium-rich foods, including almonds, spinach, shredded wheat, dry roasted cashews, bananas, milk, oily fish, avocados and even dark chocolate! You can also get a hefty 112mg of magnesium from our Multivits tablets

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 is essential for maintaining optimal brain health, which is why there’s a correlation with reduced stress and anxiety. In fact, a review of 19 clinical trials found that the people who received omega-3 PUFA treatment benefited more people with anxiety disorders than those without diagnoses. 

The recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids

Adults should try and get around 500mg of EPA and DHA combined daily. When comparing it to food, it works at roughly 140g portion of oily fish. 

Food and supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids

The richest sources of omega-3 come from oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, herring and sardines. If you’re not a fan of fish, there are plenty of omega-3 supplements on the market. Vegans can get a good amount of omega-3 from flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

Amino acids for combating stress & anxiety

Glycine

Glycine is an amino acid that’s essential for our body's synthesis of glutathione, which the cells produce to prevent oxidative stress. One study suggests that glycine can also increase resistance to stress by improving sleep. The participants in the study who complained about their sleep quality were given glycine before bed, which made them feel less fatigued, more alert, and clear-headed. 

The recommended intake of glycine

A healthy amount of glycine is between 2-5 grams daily. This, however, might interact with some medications, so please talk to your GP first. Please also talk to your GP if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Food and supplements containing glycine

Glycine can be found in high-protein foods, such as red meat, seeds, chicken, pork, peanuts, almonds, eggs, beans and canned salmon. 

L-theanine

L-theanine is another amino acid that can help reduce stress by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. A 2019 study with 30 individuals found that those who consumed higher amounts of L-theanine felt more relaxed in their daily lives and during stressful situations. Despite this being a small study, it’s a good starting point for how this amino acid can help more people. 

The recommended intake of L-theanine

200-400mg per day is a healthy amount for adults. While higher doses have been safely used, we recommend talking to your GP first before consuming more. 

Food and supplements containing L-theanine

L-theanine is naturally found in green tea, black tea and some mushrooms. It’s also available in pill or tablet form. 

Summary

Health enthusiasts have been promoting the idea of vitamins for stress and anxiety for years. Vitamins are generally best for mild anxiety, but if your symptoms are more severe, then you may need additional support, so always speak to your GP. 

Our recommended vitamins, minerals and amino acids for stress & anxiety are: 

  • Vitamin A
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glycine
  • L-theanine

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post about vitamins, then why not read another? Check out which vitamins are best for tiredness!

Author

Becky Graham

Lead Nutritionist & Communications - Get More Vits