Best Vitamins For Anxiety

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We all know that feeling of anxiety. Feeling stressed, uneasy and even panicky. It can often be caused by various triggers. As such, it’s important to find the right vitamins for your anxiety so that you have a natural solution without having to resort to taking prescription medications which may have nasty side effects.

Best Vitamins For Anxiety

Research suggests that various supplements, including vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and herbal remedies, may help relieve the symptoms of anxiety. 

Vitamin D and vitamin B complex may help ease symptoms of anxiety.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)Trusted Source, kava was a popular choice before researchers determined that it can cause severe liver disease.

Passionflower is an example of an anxiety remedy that does not haveTrusted Source enough quality evidence to support claims of its effectiveness. Studies that do support passionflower’s anti-anxiety effects have serious flaws.

The supplements we discuss in detail in the sections below show promise in easing anxiety symptoms. They also have a good record of safety, as backed up by scientific evidence.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in mood regulation and nerve and brain health.

Research has established a link between vitamin D levels and depression, claiming that taking vitamin D supplements may help treat the condition.

Some research suggests that there could be a link between vitamin D deficiency and anxiety disorders. A 2017 study found that taking vitamin D supplements improved both depression and anxiety in women with type 2 diabetes.

However, research into the link between anxiety and vitamin D has produced mixed results, so further studies are necessary to explore the connection.

The body makes vitamin D as a result of the skin’s exposure to sunlight. People can get more vitamin D by spending more time in the sun, eating foods rich in vitamin D — the main source being oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel — or taking vitamin D supplements.

Few plant foods contain vitamin D, so it can be difficult for people following vegetarian or vegan diets to get enough vitamin D from the diet alone.

Vitamin D is unlikely to interact with anti-anxiety medications, although it may interfere with other prescription drugs.

For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.

Vitamin B complex

B vitamins are a group of eight different nutrients that work together to manage many processes in the body, including stress levels.

A 2017 study found that the participants who had lower blood levels of vitamin B12 were more likely to have depression or anxiety.

Moreover, a 2018 study found that people who ate foods high in B vitamins — in this case, yeast-based spreads, such as Marmite and Vegemite — had better anxiety and stress scores than people who did not. This was more pronounced for spreads fortified with vitamin B12.

Taking B complex supplements can help a person get enough of all the B vitamins.

Learn more about the benefits and uses of vitamin B complex supplements here.

People can usually get enough B vitamins from eating a variety of nutritious foods.

Some B vitamins, including vitamins B12 and B2, or riboflavin, mostly occur in animal-based foods. For this reason, people following a vegetarian or vegan diet may need to obtain these nutrients in other ways.

Read about vegetarian and vegan food sources of vitamin B12 here.

Vitamin B supplements are unlikely to interact with anxiety medications. However, they may interfere with other prescription medications.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral necessary for effective functioning of almost every system in the human body.

Several studies suggest that it plays a role in anxiety.

A 2017 systematic review looked at the results of 18 different studies. The researchers found that magnesium supplements may improve measures of anxiety in people vulnerable to the condition. They note, however, that the quality of evidence is currently poor.

Also, a short 2016 review study reports that people with anxiety related to premenstrual syndrome benefited from taking magnesium supplements.

A person can take magnesium supplements or obtain the nutrient by eating the following high magnesium foods:

  • whole wheat
  • spinach
  • quinoa
  • almonds and cashews
  • dark chocolate
  • black beans

Taking high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea. Start with a lower dose, such as 100 milligrams (mg). Avoid exceeding 350 mg per day without a doctor’s approval.

Magnesium can interfere with the efficacy of drugs such as antibiotics. Some drugs, including antidepressants and antipsychotic medication, may also interfere with magnesium.

L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid that occurs in green and black tea. Some evidence suggests that it is a mild sedative and anti-anxiety agent.

A 2016 double-blind study found that people who consumed a beverage containing 200 mg of L-theanine had lower stress response and cortisol levels after undertaking a challenging task than those who received a placebo.

Start with the lowest effective dosage of L-theanine. Supplements often come in 200-mg capsules. People should not exceed 400 mg without first consulting a doctor.

L-theanine may interact with midazolam. Also, people should not combine L-theanine with sedatives.

Multivitamin and mineral supplements

A supplement that contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals may benefit people with anxiety.

A 2019 study reports that a supplement that contained B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc significantly decreased anxiety in young adults.

A 2018 study notes that multivitamin supplements may benefit people who have mood disorders, such as anxiety.

Each brand of multivitamins contains a different composition of ingredients. It is advisable to check with a doctor or pharmacist about which may be best.

Multivitamins typically do not interfere with anxiety medications.

Best Vitamins For Anxiety, Stress And Mental Health

With a smart nutritional approach to braincare, you can face your day’s challenges and opportunities with less anxiety, less stress, and more confidence.

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, or want to take proactive steps today to prevent problems down the road, start with these five natural vitamins that can help with anxiety, depression and panic attacks. We’ve also included all of these nutrients (except for magnesium as it can interact with zinc) in the Smart Supplement to help relieve anxiety and soothe stress:

1. B vitamins

Your body needs eight B vitamins for optimal health: 

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) 
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate) 
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamins)

All B vitamins play a beneficial role in reducing anxiety and improving your mood. For instance, a study[5] published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that people who ate B vitamin-rich foods saw significant improvements in their anxiety and stress scores compared to those who didn’t eat B vitamin-rich foods.

However, when it comes to vitamin B for anxiety, vitamin B12 is especially powerful for managing your mood. For instance, there’s a strong correlation[4] between low levels of B12 and increased rates of anxiety and depression. B12 also offers additional braincare benefits, such as increasing your ability to focus and remember information. 

Daily nutrient reference values (NRV) for vitamin B12:

  • Adults: 2.4 μg/day
  • Pregnant individuals: 2.6 μg/day
  • Breastfeeding individuals: 2.8 μg/day

Top food sources for vitamin B12:

  • Shellfish like clams, mussels and crab 
  • Fish, especially Atlantic mackerel and salmon 
  • Lean poultry, such as turkey or chicken
  • Plant-based eaters need to pay special attention to B12, as aside from nutritional yeast—it’s pretty tough to come by

Get the nutrients you need to help feel less anxious with the Heights Smart Supplement.

LEARN MORE

2. Vitamin C

You might think of vitamin C as an immune booster, but it’s also a brain booster and one of the best vitamins for anxiety.

This antioxidant plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis (i.e., balance) in your central nervous system. A study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry[7] declared that “vitamin C deficiency is widely associated with stress-related diseases” and notes that taking a vitamin C supplement may improve your mood and reduce anxiety.

Plus, chronic anxiety leads to elevated levels of cortisol (a stress hormone linked with a higher risk of diabetes and many other diseases). Vitamin C can help your body to better manage its cortisol levels.

NRV for vitamin C:

  • Adult males: 90 mg/day 
  • Adult females: 75 mg/day

Top food sources for vitamin C:

  • Citrus fruits 
  • Colourful vegetables, such as red bell peppers 
  • Tomatoes

3. Vitamin D

Approximately 40% of Europeans[8] don’t get enough vitamin D. 

And while it’s unclear if a vitamin D deficiency causes anxiety and depression, there’s a correlation[9] between low vitamin D levels and higher rates of anxiety and other mood disorders. One study even found that taking a vitamin D supplement helped improve symptoms of depression[10]. 

NRV for vitamin D:

  • Adults: 600 IU/day
  • Adults over the age of 70: 800 IU/day

Top food sources for vitamin D:

  • Fish, such as salmon or sardines
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods, such as milk or cereal

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