Anxiety is characterized by impatience, poor concentration, a feeling of helplessness, irritability, being tense and restless. Anxiety is the feeling that something bad is going to happen. Some anxiety is normal, but higher levels can be disturbing and lead to serious health problems. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are chest tightness, indigestion, dry mouth, fatigue, sweating and headache.
Depression is a medical illness that can affect both your body and mind. This illness can disrupt your daily functioning and cause many symptoms, including sadness, loss of interest, weight-loss or gain, appetite loss or gain, fatigue, feelings of sadness, muscle aches and pains and difficulty sleeping.
Many people who suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health disorders don’t realize that they are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals that help with anxiety. A deficiency, for example, of B vitamins alone might be the cause of your bad anxiety. Vitamin and mineral deficiency brings with it a whole host of symptoms and, for many; anxiety and depression top the list.
It is essential that you get adequate amounts of all vitamins and minerals in order to maintain good health and emotional stability. What you eat has a great impact on your health level. In order to deal with this kind of problem, it is very important to pay special attention to your eating habits. Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in specific vitamins and minerals may be helpful in treating your anxiety and depression so you are able to live a healthy life. You should take these vitamins and minerals through natural sources. This is because you get the full benefits of these nutrients in their natural form rather than in a processed form. Consult your doctor before taking supplements and never replace other forms of treatment with supplements. Here are a few common vitamins and minerals that people lack and show you exactly what natural sources of these vitamins and minerals can have a positive impact on your mental health.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
B Vitamins – Known as anti-anxiety vitamins, because the B vitamins are essential for optimum brain function, it makes sense that a deficiency of these can lead to depression and anxiety, which stems from an imbalance in the brain. A vitamin B deficiency can include symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, irritability, restlessness, and nervousness.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), B3 (niacin amide), B1 (thiamine) are particularly the vitamins of the B family that help in combating anxiety. Known for their positive effects on the nervous system, vitamin supplements for anxiety stabilize the body’s lactate levels which are responsible for various anxiety attacks. Besides that, Vitamin B5 also plays a vital role in reducing the anxiety as it is important for the adrenals. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal sources so if you are a vegetarian this is an extremely important vitamin to supplement every day. Deficiency of vitamin B12 in the body can lead to panic attacks, depression, loss of memory and fatigue. Anxiety and fatigue are prevented in a great way with the help of vitamin B9. Folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for depression, and given the links between anxiety and depression, they may also be helpful for anxiety. They also support heart health, which is important if you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, which stress the heart. Panic and anxiety attacks can be reduced to a great extent by including vitamin B8 in your diet.
If you’re considering a supplement, take all eleven in a B-complex supplement. These vitamins for anxiety are available in the form of pills and the recommended dosage is one pill in a day. You should take it in the morning or at lunchtime – generally speaking avoid taking in the evening as it may interfere with sleep.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B complex
Vitamin B complex can be found in many food groups which include green and leafy vegetables, dairy products, fresh fruits, and certain meats. Therefore, foods containing Vitamin B complex are brewer’s yeast, milk, whole grain cereals, liver, eggs, nuts, poultry, fish and yogurt, bananas, potatoes, beans, lentils, and chili peppers to name a few.
Ascorbic acid is another name for Vitamin C. This may be another surprising vitamin to help with anxiety and depression. It plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of brain chemistry and adrenal glands. Vitamin C is known that our brain chemicals are responsible for mood fluctuations. Low levels of serotonin means you’ll be sad and lethargic while high levels of this brain chemical boosts your mood. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps to maintain the immune system, manufacture collagen, guard against cancer and heart disease, reduce the risk of cataracts, and otherwise encourages health. Deficiency of vitamin C can lead to depression and mental confusion, among other problems. In fact, depression is the first clinical symptom detected when humans are deliberately deprived of vitamin C for purposes of study. A lack of vitamin C decreases your body’s ability to deal with stress as well as reduces the production of neurotransmitters that are associated with anxiety. Therefore, if you suffer from anxiety and don’t take a vitamin C supplement or eat enough citrus fruits then a vitamin C deficiency may be the cause.
This vitamin acts as a very good stress reliever. So, there is no doubt that vitamins play a great role in getting rid of tension and stress. You would attain great level of peace of mind if you are healthy. Your stress would be eliminated in a great way with the help of intake of vital vitamins.
Vitamin C requirements also increase substantially during times of stress, so this is an important vitamin for anxiety sufferers. The adrenal glands in particular use this vitamin during the stress response. Vitamin C also plays an essential role in fighting infection. Since the immune system is weakened by stress and anxiety, it’s sensible to take steps to boost your immune response by increasing your intake of Vitamin C during recovery from anxiety states.
Subclinical deficiencies can produce depression symptoms, which require the use of supplements. Supplementation is particularly important if you have had surgery or an inflammatory disease. Stress, pregnancy, and lactation also increase the body’s need for vitamin C, while aspirin, tetracycline, and birth control pills can deplete the body’s supply.
With large doses of this vitamin supplement, a tranquilizing effect is brought about that decreases anxiety. Aim for 1000mg to 2000mg of vitamin C a day to not only prevent anxiety, but also to keep your immune system strong and able to cope better with stress. Make sure to split it up into two or three portions a day as your body uses up what it needs and almost immediately excretes the rest through your urine.
Natural Sources of Vitamin C
Fruits that are pack with vitamin C are: Cantaloupe, Plums, Black Currant, Kiwi, Orange, Melon, Banana, Avocado, Guava, Strawberries, Papaya, all kinds of Berries, and Citrus Fruits. And vegetables are Tomatoes, Potatoes, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Red and Green Bell Peppers, Cabbage, and Spinach. Sweet Red peppers have more than three times the vitamin C of Orange juice.
Vitamin D is quite effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression. It may improve seasonal anxiety and depression that worsen during the winter months. This form of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, occurs during the winter months and is potentially caused by a lack of sunlight exposure. If you feel anxiety and depression in the winter months then improving your vitamin D can give you a boost. Placebo studies were conducted to show that intake of Vitamin D can improve mood and keep depression, anxiety and nervousness at bay. Sunlight triggers our body to produce Vitamin D. Studies have established a definite relationship between mood and the sunshine vitamin.
Deficiency of vitamin D is known to link with clinical depression, repetitive bouts of depression and severe depression associated with chronic medical ailments. Use of vitamin D supplements is known to boost the overall mood in people suffering from cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, low bone density, rheumatoid arthritis and heart problems. One study showed that vitamin D deficiency was associated with both anxiety and depression in fibromyalgia patients. Vitamin D is also important for immunity, bone health and heart health, and it helps protect against cancer.
Many people get the entire Vitamin D they need from sunlight, which helps the body to synthesize this vitamin. However for people with limited sun exposure particularly during the winter months, depressed mood can take its toll.
Again like other vitamins for anxiety, you can also opt for over the counter supplements. Make sure to supplement vitamin D3 1000mg every day or at least during those colder, winter months to stay happy and positive. Another great way to get vitamin D naturally is as little as 15 minutes a day sitting in direct sunlight can provide the recommended daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also available in tincture or pill form. However, do consult your doctor for the dosage as vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and does not get flushed out of the body naturally like water soluble vitamins. The excess dosage of the vitamin can cause harm to the body.
Natural Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not available in as many foods as other antioxidant vitamins. You can get vitamin D from two natural sources: through the skin, and from the diet. Natural sources include saltwater and fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and fish liver oil. Other sources are shrimps, liver, egg yolks, cheese, soy and rice beverages, fortified orange juice, margarine and milk with vitamin D.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because your body produces a critical form of vitamin D — vitamin D3 — when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun stimulates production of vitamin D in human skin, and just a few minutes (15 minutes a day is generally enough) of exposure to sunlight each day (without sunscreen) will insure your body is producing adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Vitamin F consists of a group of polyunsaturated fats called Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), they are also referred to as polyunsaturates. Essentially, there are two main types of EFAs: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids play a crucial role in curing major depressive state. Omegas 3s are integral for both functioning and development of central nervous system of the brain. This might be a surprising one, but there is a definite link between omega-3 and mood. This essential fatty acid stabilizes mood and has had a very positive impact when given in significant doses to people suffering from depression. Omega‑3 fatty acids are a useful supplement for anxiety problems. It has been shown to be very effective in easing depression and its associated symptoms of anxiety, sleep problems, sadness, lowered libido and so on. Omega‑3 fatty acids reduce anxiety in healthy people who have not been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. An imbalance in the body’s fats with a shortage of essential fatty acids is linked to depression. Research indicates that omega-3s from fish oil (EPA and DPH) are effective for alleviating depression. A study which researched substance abusers with low fish consumption found that supplementing with fish oil for three months resulted in less anxiety and anger. For treating depression symptoms, one must incorporate 4g of omega 3s every day.
The human body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet means regularly to ensure good mental health. To ensure that you’re getting enough omega-3 and omega-6, take daily supplements in the form of fish oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, primrose oil, blackcurrant oil, or borage oil. One gram per day of fish oil is enough to produce beneficial effects. There is no evidence as yet to suggest that higher quantities will produce better results.
Natural Sources of Vitamin F
Vitamin F can be found in oily fishes like salmon, herring, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel, In healthy vegetable oils like sunflower seeds, olive, safflower, canola, and grape seed, In nuts particularly hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and walnuts. In Legumes, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and avocado. EFAs are also available in supplement form – such as fish oil capsules or evening primrose oil.
ESSENTIAL MINERALS FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Magnesium is often referred to as the anti-stress mineral that nourishes the nervous system and helps prevent anxiety, fear, nervousness, restlessness and irritability. Magnesium helps stress because the body uses it for muscle relaxation. It’s possible that if you take extra supplements of this it may help to reduce muscle tension and relieve anxiety symptoms. Magnesium is also very protective of the heart and arteries; again, this is important if you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks. It is also thought it can help in producing new brain patterns of behavior which are not influenced by fear and compulsive thinking. Magnesium is a mineral that’s crucial to the body’s function. Magnesium helps keep blood pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady.
Some of the most common symptoms of depletion include: headaches, insomnia, anxiety, cramps and muscle spasms, depression and chronic fatigue. Magnesium supplements are available in topical as well as oral forms. Taking this fantastic mood-stabilizing mineral isn’t going to cure anxiety but it could make you feel better. Make sure you are consuming enough, as your body needs all the help it can get it in obtaining vitamins and minerals.
Natural Sources of Magnesium
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds and other seeds, halibut, shrimp, whole-wheat bread, milk, Whole grain products, lima beans, black-eyed peas, soybeans, legumes, avocados, bananas, and kiwifruit.
Calcium is one of the most commonly suggested supplements for individuals with anxiety or alternatively you could increase your intake of calcium rich foods. Calcium is important because of its role in nerve transmission and correct muscle metabolism. Even small deficiencies can lead to cramps and sensitivity of nerves and muscles. It’s helpful in easing insomnia and has been shown to reduce the nervousness, irritability and headaches associated with menopause. Symptoms of calcium deficiency can include: insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, weak immune system, and/or bone and teeth deterioration.
If you’re looking for a calcium supplement, choose a brand that contains mainly calcium citrate as this has a higher absorption rate. Also make sure it has the correct proportion of magnesium (calcium to magnesium should be 2:1). Dosage should be at least 1g per day, more for pregnant or lactating women.
Natural Sources of Calcium
Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt – low-fat ones are best, and it doesn’t matter if they come from cows or other animals, for example goats, skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contains more calcium than full-fat milk. Fortified products such as cereals, oats, orange juice, tofu and soya milk. Fish with the bones such as tinned sardines and salmon, Calcium also found in some nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Calcium is present in leafy green vegetables watercress, beans and chickpeas, some dark green leafy vegetables especially spinach, rhubarb, turnip and mustard greens, kale, Chinese cabbage, and broccoli.
Coral Calcium: Coral calcium is a natural source of Calcium obtained from sea corals. Coral calcium helps to increase bone mass and thereby helping your bones to grow in length. The younger you are, greater are the results of increasing bone mass through Coral calcium.
Anxiety is a common symptom of potassium deficiency. Potassium is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system. Potassium is a mineral that helps to keep the heart beating regularly and has also been linked to depression. Mood upsets, fatigue, and weakness, all symptoms of depression, have been associated with low levels of the mineral. These problems can occur if there is not enough of the mineral inside the cells, even if there is enough potassium in the body fluids (outside the cells). Lower levels of potassium in the brain have been found in suicide victims. Replenishing potassium stores helps to reverse the fatigue and muscle weakness that may be associated with depression–or may be present on its own.
Unless potassium levels are dangerously low, it is probably best to get more of the mineral by increasing your intake of foods high in potassium. The best way to ensure you are receiving enough potassium is by making potassium-rich foods a staple in your diet.
Natural Sources of Potassium
Best sources: banana, fresh broccoli, vegetables and fruits with a high potassium content: avocado, Brussels sprouts, parsley, cauliflower, potatoes (with skins), tomatoes, cantaloupe, dates, orange juice, prunes and raisins. Also, meat, milk legumes, beans, peas, pistachios, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, almonds, sesame seeds and Brazil nuts, peanuts, and pecans.
Zinc is an essential mineral that has a calming effect on the nervous system. Zinc participates among others in the process of gustation (taste perception). At least five studies have shown that zinc levels are lower in those with clinical depression. Furthermore, intervention research shows that oral zinc can influence the effectiveness of antidepressant therapy. Zinc also protects the brain cells against the potential damage caused by free radicals. Most multivitamins contain zinc. Dosage: 30-40 mg daily (as picolinate)
Natural Sources of Zinc
Best food sources of zinc include oysters, Dungeness crab, and other seafood, red meat like beef, poultry as turkey, eggs, but vegetarians can get zinc from asparagus, soy beans, grains, black-eyed peas, wheat germ, fortified cereals, nuts, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, soy foods tofu, chocolate and dairy products.
A shortage of selenium in the diet can cause anxiety. Selenium is an important antioxidant that protects neurotransmitters. It has a mood-elevating effect when taken in regions where food supply is deficient in selenium. Five studies indicate that low selenium intake is associated with lowered mood status. Intervention studies with selenium with other patient populations reveal that selenium improves mood and diminishes anxiety.
Natural Sources of Selenium
Selenium is found naturally in seafood like crab, shrimp, and other coldwater fish especially tuna and salmon, halibut, Chicken, Liver, dark mushrooms, Yeast, brown rice wheat germ whole grain bread , pasta, nuts, eggs, onions, broccoli and garlic are all great sources of selenium. The richest natural source of selenium is Brazil nuts.
Although the most common symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue and weakness, anxiety symptoms can also manifest. Its deficiency is known to cause fatigue and depression. Iron deficiency anemia is associated, for instance, with apathy, depression, and rapid fatigue when exercising. Anemia resulting in lack of energy and depression is often caused by illness or blood loss. Low dosages of iron are helpful for depression caused by anemia.
Natural Sources of Iron
The iron that your body absorbs the best and is found in high amounts in red meat, In moderate amounts in prunes, apricots, blackstrap molasses, nutritional yeast, and wheat germ, Oily fish, for example sardines, Pulses, for example lentils and haricot beans, Dark green vegetables, spinach, kale and watercress. Leafy green vegetables, Squash, Nuts, shellfish, Eggs, poultry, soy foods, Tofu, whole grains, beans, turkey, egg yolks, clams, mussels, oysters, Shrimp fortified bread, Dark Chocolate and grain products are packed with Iron.