Our world is ever-changing and stress, anxiety, and depression have been at an all-time high since the rise of the global pandemic. There has been a nearly 40% increase in American adults that have reported symptoms of anxiety. This unfortunately does not include those that suffer in silence and choose not to seek out help. One’s mental health should always be prioritized, as stress directly influences our physical well-being. Stress influences the integrity of our immune system and our ability to ward off serious illnesses. Not all hope is lost though. There are many whole foods and vitamins that can help counteract the effects of stress in the body and B Complex vitamins are amongst the most important.
B complex is an umbrella term for the 8 B vitamins that exist in the body. Made by the bacteria in the intestinal tract, B vitamins are water-soluble, which means they are not stored in the body in any great quantity and need to be supplied daily by the diet or supplementation. The need for B vitamins increases during the presence of chronic illness, stress, alcohol, smoking, and recreational drug use. High levels of stress deplete B vitamins in the body which is why supplementation is so important.
Our ability to cope with stress is influenced by the health of our adrenal glands and nervous system. Our “flight or fight” system can become taxed when we do not support these systems or implement any stress management techniques.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of B Vitamins and how supplementation can alleviate stress and contribute to a balanced mood
Mental efficiency, health, and a feeling of well-being are dependent on the presence of vitamin B-1 in the body. It is required for nerve cells to function normally. The nervous system is the body’s command center and controls our body movements, systems, and processes. It also controls our thoughts and automatic environmental responses. Without vitamin B-1 the mind would undergo several bouts of confusion and short-term memory loss which can contribute to stress and anxiety. Vitamin B-1 benefits are many, but its role in the health of our nervous system is amongst the most important.
Pantothenic Acid (B-5)
Vitamin B-5 helps to regulate the body’s adrenal glands. The adrenal glands secrete hormones like cortisol during the stress response. Vitamin B-5 acts as a normalizing agent for adrenal function, helping to restore hormonal balance and improve one’s resilience to stress. B-5, along with the other complexes, contributes to cellular energy. B vitamins provide sustained energy throughout the day which helps to combat the fatigue that stress and anxiety can cause.
Of the most important is vitamin B-6. It is directly involved in the proper function of the nervous system, which influences our ability to cope with stress. It produces our “feel good” hormones, which include dopamine and serotonin. It also plays a role in the function of melatonin, which is the hormone that allows us to have a restful sleep. Studies have shown that deficiency in B vitamins can cause depression, in contrast to adequate amounts helping with mood balance and feelings of well-being. Vitamin B-6 is usually a major player in all vitamins for stress on the market. It has also been used to combat morning sickness and reduce symptoms of PMS in women.
Vitamin B-12 is a common supplement, especially amongst vegans where it is not readily available in most plant-based foods. B-12 is a vital component in the function of the nervous system and health of the brain. A healthy nervous system helps to regulate adrenal function, which in turn helps the body respond to stress without taxing the integrity of those systems. B-12 deficiency can cause mood imbalance and anemia.
Vitamin B Complex Sources
Although B vitamins are manufactured in the body, their water solubility keeps them in high demand. Many foods include an array of B-vitamin activities. Dairy products like eggs and milk, meats and fish. Vegetables like avocado, asparagus, broccoli, okra, root vegetables, and whole grains. Fruits like berries, citrus, and bananas. B vitamins are also abundant in brewers yeast, wheat germ, royal jelly, and oats. Incorporating a healthy and balanced diet is a sure way to get ample amounts of B-vitamins for the day.
There are many vitamins for stress but the vitamin b complex for stress is one the best. It is naturally occurring in the body, can be found in ample amounts of whole foods, and is responsible for a plethora of bodily functions and processes including the integrity of the nervous system and adrenal glands. The best B vitamins for stress are sold in its “active” form, which makes it more readily available for absorption. Gummy and multi tablets contain B vitamins and other nutrients to support absorption and overall mood.
It’s important to take your mental health seriously and seek out ways to manage stress successfully with meditation, yoga, exercise, and taking time out to do the things in life that bring you joy. Whether it be workplace stress, relationship stress, or good stress (like planning your wedding), eating the right foods and surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family are key to one’s overall mood and well-being.