Nutrients to support an overworked stress response
When you are under stress, your overworked stress response system requires even more nutrients than usual. This is because your body needs vitamins and minerals to produce the hormones and neurotransmitters (the brain’s messengers) required to adapt to the stress and bring the body back into balance.
- B group vitamins: B vitamins are needed for healthy mood, motivation and wellbeing. They are vital for producing energy, as well as the neurotransmitters that promote happiness, relaxation and sleep.
- Magnesium: When you are stressed, your body may require more magnesium than normal. Magnesium can be beneficial for many things including managing stress and improving energy. You may also know that magnesium is used as a muscle relaxant. Due to its relaxing qualities, it may improve mood and sleep. Ask your Practitioner about magnesium bisglycinate; it’s a superior form of magnesium that is both well absorbed and well tolerated, minimising the risk of potential gastrointestinal effects.
- Taurine and glutamine: These amino acids are required as building blocks for your neurotransmitters. They can also help to calm the nervous system, as well as protect against the damage that stress can cause.
Now that you know which nutrients can be great for use in times of stress, eating a nutritious diet can help you to maintain the health of your nerves long-term. What happens to your diet when you’re stressed? Do you eat a lot, or do you make poor food choices when short on time or patience?
- During times of stress, sugars and refined carbohydrates are a no no! While they provide quick energy, they do not fuel your body with nutrients it needs to cope with stress, and can ultimately lead to weight gain.
- Protein from fish, lean meats, eggs, legumes and nuts can provide you with amino acids to fuel your brain whilst sustaining you for longer, minimising those stress cravings.
- Fish, in particular, contains both protein and essential fats, otherwise known as omega-3 fatty acids which can support a healthy stress response and healthy mood.