Vitamins for stress
Luke shares some tips for women when selecting vitamins and minerals to combat stress.
By Luke McNally
Q: Hey Luke. I’m a female who has a very stressful life. I’m really confused about the role vitamins play in stress, especially for women. Can you give some insight?
A: It’s tough being a woman (from what I’ve observed anyway). The pressure of motherhood, managing households, relationships, jobs, hormone fluctuations, menstrual cycles and menopause can take a toll on the body AND the mind. Some vitamins and minerals are crucial for the optimal operation of ones body. Some vitamins and minerals will also aid in the alleviation of stress, anxiety and depression. Check out the following tips for women when selecting vitamins and minerals to combat stress:
Multivitamin. A quality daily multivitamin is your first step to fill in the gaps in micronutrients. Some specific vitamins and minerals will need to be taken in larger amounts than can be found in a once-daily capsule, however. A multi should encompass your daily needs of all the B vitamins, which enhance energy production and cognitive ability. Some B vitamins are also heavily depleted if you’re also taking anti-depressants.
Vitamin C. Plays a role in cortisol metabolism and synthesis as well as strengthening the immune system and antioxidant status.
Omega 3 fatty acids. Found in all meats and in higher amounts in salmon and fresh water fish. Omega 3s can also be supplemented with a fish oil capsule. Look for quality products screened for heavy metals. These essential fatty acids also help maintain a healthy hormonal balance, increase serotonin (our
happy’ brain chemical) and manage blood sugar levels, as well as a host of other benefits.
/itamin D. I recommend checking blood levels of vitamin D before supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in many people and a deficiency can lead to all sorts of problems, including immune system deregulation and depression.
Iron. For women who are menstruating, iron is lost during menses. It is very important to replace this iron, which can be found primarily in red meat and spinach. I recommend looking for a multi that contains iron. For nonmenstruating women or those with already elevated iron levels, then iron may be avoided. Iron-free multivitamins are easy to access.
Magnesium. Another nutrient many people are deficient in. A dose before bed helps promote good quality sleep and restfulness.
Vitamin E. I call this the antioxidant of the womb. Vitamin E encourages healthy communication between cells and promotes a healthy menstrual cycle.
Couple the above with healthy eating habits and some external stress management like meditation, yoga and good sleep patterns to help combat the daily stresses of being the wonder woman you are.