Covid-19 and the lockdown, and now the ‘new normal’ has taught us one big lesson – we have to be prepared for anything and everything in life. It was a huge test of our mental strength. In fact, it was during this time that the subject of mental health was much spoken about, at the global level. By now, we have all realised how important it is to take care of it.
Stress and anxiety have touched the roof now, and thanks to social media, we have tried everything possible to keep us sane! But did you know? Your diet plays an important role when it comes to your mental health? Yes, it’s true. There are a few vitamins and minerals that are known to fight stress and anxiety.
According to celebrity nutritionist, Manisha Chopra, our brain needs vitamins to function effectively. They have a profound impact on our mental health. If there’s a vitamin deficiency in your body, you may experience neurological problems and issues related to emotional health.
“Vitamins and minerals can help you manage various mental health-related issues like depression, stress, anxiety, and even mood swings. They are also known to improve brain health,” she explains.
Here’s a list of seven vitamins and minerals that can help you deal with stress and anxiety
1. Vitamin B
Natural sources: Eggs, legumes, dairy products, leafy vegetables, grains and meat.
How much to consume: 2.4 mcg per day
Best time to consume: On an empty stomach, in the morning
Why will it help? Vitamin B helps in balancing blood sugar levels, which ultimately reduces anxiety. It also plays a role in the synthesis of serotonin, which helps in reducing depression and anxiety.
2. Vitamin D
Natural sources: Sunlight, egg yolks, oily fish and red meat
How much to consume: 1000-2000 IU per day
Best time to consume: With a meal
Why will it help? Vitamin D helps your brain stay healthy, and also reduces the chances of getting a mental illness. It contains hormone-like biochemicals, which help in sustaining the function of the brain.
3. Vitamin C
Natural sources: Oranges, strawberries, broccoli, peppers, spinach, kiwi and kale
How much to consume: 40mg
Best time to consume: On an empty stomach
Why will it help? Vitamin C is helpful in preventing oxidative damage in your nervous system. Oxidative damage increases anxiety. Vitamin C helps to reduce physical and psychological stress.
Natural sources: Quinoa, whole wheat, spinach, cashews, dark chocolate, almonds and black beans.
How much to consume: 400 mg
Best time to consume: Anytime
Why will it help? It plays a very crucial role in maintaining brain function as well as your mood. Moreover, it also helps in reducing anxiety. A deficiency in magnesium increases the risk of depression.
Natural sources: Seafood, cereals and grains, dairy products
How much to consume: 55 mcg
Best time to consume: Can be taken anytime
Why will it help? It helps in reducing the risk of developing depression, and also symptoms related to anxiety.
Natural sources: Tea leaves (green and black)
How much to consume: 200 mg per day
Best time to consume: Before bed
Why will it help? It promotes relaxation and helps in reducing stress. It also improves memory and attention.
Natural sources: Meat, fish, dairy products, legumes
How much to consume: 3 gms per day
Best time to consume: Before bedtime
Why will it help? This increases your body’s resistance to stress by creating a calming effect on the brain. It improves sleep quality and increases alertness and focus.
So if you have been dealing with stress and anxiety lately, then try giving these nutrients a shot before you seek medical help.