Vitamins are critical for overall health and wellbeing, and can have a positive impact on one’s stress levels as well. We spoke to an expert about it.
We are constantly dealing with stress, be it due to work or personal matters. This situation is only further aggravated by excessive caffeine intake, fast-paced urban environments, and disturbed sleep cycles. However, you could adopt measures to relieve stress such as being mindful of your vitamin intake, as they are crucial not just for physical health but also your mental wellbeing. Vitamins such as C and B12 have been associated with combating stress, boosting mental faculties, and improving cognitive skills.
A study by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience in Nashville, revealed that deficiency of vitamin C may reduce the levels of dopamine and serotonin, which could cause anxiety and depression. Vitamin C can be found naturally in citric fruits such as orange, berries such as kiwi, and leafy green vegetables such as spinach.
To understand how vitamins can help reduce stress, we spoke to Dr Praveen Gupta, Principal Director & Head, Department of Neurology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.
Vitamins for reducing stress
Dr Gupta remarked that If we go by scientific research, then there is some evidence to suggest that vitamins may protect against stress and allow us to combat it better. He noted that these vitamins include:
1. Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C, E, and selenium helps fight cellular oxidative stress. The said oxidative stress is the most common cause of cellular damage in the brain. These vitamins provide antioxidants and fight free radicals, which further helps combat oxidative stress.
2. Vitamins Bs: These vitamins are really important for memory and mood. About 11 studies have found that B vitamins can alleviate mood and have a positive impact on memory and cognition. Vitamin B12 is the most critical one for psychological well-being.
What else do you need apart from these to fight stress?
Ashwagandha: It is shown to be significantly helpful for relieving stress
Inositol: It is an important factor for a diabetic diet as it helps mitigate diabetes-induced nerve damage
Nuts: Nuts of various types help combat stress and alleviate mood.
Dr Gupta emphasized on the fact that vitamins alone are not enough and a good lifestyle and balanced diet will go a long way in reducing stress.