Anxiety negatively impacts health and overall well-being in numerous ways from panic attacks, to insomnia, to concentration and focus issues.
But a diet rich in vitamins B and D can help fight those symptoms that can leave you emotionally and physically drained.
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Soaking up rays isn't just great for your tan, it's also essential for keeping your mood on an even keel. One study showed that supplementing with vitamin D lowered the stress hormone cortisol.
That's not all vitamin D is good for. According to one study, vitamin D deficiencies are linked to depression and anxiety in patients with fibromyalgia.
This fat-soluble vitamin is found in eggs and fatty fish like salmon.
Our bodies can make Vitamin D by absorbing rays from the sun. Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers can benefit from a little sunbathing and vitamin D, especially during the summer months when the sunshine is limited.
How High is Your Vitamin D?
Many adults just don't get enough vitamin D. If sun exposure is limited and you aren't getting enough of this vitamin from your diet, consider supplementing with a natural form called vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
Avoid Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) the ineffective, synthetic form of Vitamin D.
If you aren't sure if you're indeed deficient in vitamin D, get tested. There's a simple blood test called 25-hydroxy-vitamin D you can get through your doctor.
Ok, so maybe you're low in this anti-anxiety vitamin. How much should you take?
Dr. John Cannell, the founder of the Vitamin D Council, recommends taking 5,000 IU daily until your vitamin D level is between 50 and 80 ng/mL.
B vitamins are used to boost energy. But according to research having a deficiency in certain B vitamins has been linked to increased panic, anxiety, and even agoraphobia.
Vitamin B5: Also known as Pantothenic Acid, this vitamin helps your body fight stress by regulating adrenal function, stabilizes mood, boosts energy and more.
A few symptoms of a vitamin B5 deficiency include irritability, fatigue, insomnia, muscle cramps and depression.
Food sources of B5:
-Lentils--also an excellent source of iron
-Wild Caught Salmon
-Veal (responsibly raised)
B6 is used to help the brain make serotonin, one of the body's natural feel-good chemicals.
Look for vitamin B6 in the following forms: pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate. This vitamin is found in a multivitamin, vitamin B complex or liquid drops.
B6 food sources: Organic chicken, organic turkey, wild caught tuna, wild caught shrimp, organic beef liver, cheese, beans, spinach, carrots, brown rice and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin B8 (Inositol): Studies show inositol is effective for relieving symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD). According to one study, this B vitamin helps with obsessive thought patterns.
Up to 18 grams, a day was proven to be as effective as anti-anxiety meds and with fewer side effects to boot.
You can find inositol sold by itself or as part of a multi-vitamin supplement.
Inositol food sources: mushrooms, whole wheat bread, rice bran, peanuts, peanut butter, walnuts, hazelnuts, oatmeal, egg whites, organic/grass fed beef liver, and almonds.
I hope this article helps you on your journey to better mental health!
Brighter skies are ahead,