Stress is something that most, if not all, of us have in our lives more often than we would like. For the majority of people stress comes mostly from the workplace or from home. However, stress hides everywhere. Stress can be hiding even in the most pleasurable situations. On vacation, stress may be lurking at ticket counters, security checkpoints, and at the destination itself (poor weather or lost luggage). Stress has been shown to contribute to many common diseases such as ulcers, hypertension, arthritis, and heart disease.
But you may never have thought of stress in terms of its ability to deplete you of your essential micronutrients—and it may surprise that the very same vitamins, minerals and essential fats that are depleted by stress, are the very same micronutrients that can ward off your stress when sufficient. Lets examine 5 micronutrients that are depleted by stress that should be supplemented in order to help you chillax this holiday season.
The B Vitamins:
The B vitamins have come to be known as anti-stress nutrients because they are often the first deficiencies to develop during times of stress. While vitamins B1 an B5 help to fight off stress by maintaining the proper function of the adrenal glands – the most important glands in the fight against stress, vitamins B6 and B9 help you to better deal with the stress that you do experience because they are important for the formation of chemicals called neurotransmitters that are necessary for balancing emotions. According to study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, you don’t need a great deficiency in the B vitamins to set in before you really start to feel it. The study revealed that if a subject was only given half the daily requirement of thiamine (vitamin B1), the subject became “irritable, depressed, quarrelsome, uncooperative, and fearful that some misfortune awaited them.”
The demand for vitamin C increases ten-fold during stressful periods, which can cause this water-soluble vitamin to become depleted relatively quickly. In studies, people who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to acute psychological challenges. What's more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C. According to the University of Maryland, even slight deficiencies of vitamin C can increase cortisol output, which spikes appetite and increases fat deposits in the belly region. So, a deficiency in C might mean a bad attitude and a big belly!
Calcium & Magnesium:
Are you a stress eater? Have you been known to grab a bowl of ice cream or bag of chips when the stress comes knocking at your door? While many people say that you might be eating to stifle your emotions or anxiety we want you to know that the stress and anxiety themselves may be physically responsible for your snacking. Both magnesium and calcium deficiencies can cause food cravings for both sweet and salty foods. Stress causes both of these water-soluble minerals to be utilized quickly resulting in rapid depletion. It is because of these mineral deficiencies that you begin stress eating. So, know that you’re not mentally weak, but mineral deficient. Make sure to supplement smart, and both the stress and the food cravings will be a thing of the past.
Recent research shows that your omega-3 fatty acids can play a key role in keeping stress at bay. Unfortunately, our Western diet doesn’t supply us with enough of these essential fats, primary found in fish, eggs and meat, so supplementation is a smart choice for anyone who doesn’t eat fish daily. Scientists believe that omega-3 supplementation “inhibits the adrenal activation elicited by a mental stress” leaving cortisol levels “significantly blunted” when omega-3 levels are high. One study at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania proved just how powerful omega-3 can be. Study participants who supplemented with omega-3 had significantly lower cortisol levels compared to those taking a placebo. This resulted in them shedding three and a half times more body fat, while increasing lean muscle mass.
Let’s face it, everyone wants to relax and enjoy the holiday festivities without the stress and anxiety that this time of year can bring, which is why we've put together our next VIP group coaching program after the first of the year. So many people have had successes including weight loss, improved sleep, increased energy, and more. To learn more about what's included and how you can join us one-on-on, click here.