Stress in small doses is beneficial. It helps to stay focused, energetic and more alert. Too much of it can be bad for productivity and performance. If you feel nervous and overwhelmed every day it is time to take action to calm down your nervous system. One of the ways is taking vitamins. How taking vitamins is correlated with stress, we will try to explain here.
How stress affects your life
While stress is a natural reaction to short-lived situations that require adjustment or response, it can become dangerous when it interferes with daily life. Chronic stress affects both physical and mental health and is linked to high blood pressure (hypertension), asthma, ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, and back pain.
Chronic stress also makes people prone to disease and illnesses. During stressful situations, the brain signals the endocrine system to release stress hormones, such as cortisol. While these hormones help a person deal with an emergency, it can also dampen the immune system and prevent white blood cells from fighting infection.
To manage stress, some people choose to smoke or drink excessively, but these habits may do more harm than good. Fortunately, getting a full night’s sleep, exercise, meditation, and a diet full of vitamins can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of stress.
During stressful situations, your immune system will naturally become stressed and this can make you more vulnerable to infection. It’s important to stock up on vitamins that will help your immune system stay in tip-top shape.
Vitamins and minerals that helps to improve the immune system
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential micronutrient that promotes growth and repair of muscle and tissue. It is a powerful antioxidant that fights harmful molecules called free radicals. Taking vitamin C can decrease the duration and severity of a cold or flu. In a study published in the journal Cochrane Database of Systematic Review, researchers found that an effective dose of 1 to 2 grams is needed to decrease the duration of the common cold by 18 percent in children.
You can find vitamin C in many foods. These include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, as well as in tomatoes and bananas. It can also be found in dark green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprout.
Selenium is a mineral that’s been shown in studies to help boost the immune system and prevent disease. Foods high in selenium include Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, pork, beef, chicken, tofu, whole wheat pasta, shrimp, and mushrooms
Vitamin D is something your body naturally produces when it’s exposed to sunlight. You only need about 25 minutes of sunlight daily.
But if you’re stuck indoors, as we often are in the winter, you’ll likely need a supplement. Vitamin D supplements can keep your immune system strong and help you to fight illness. Keeping your vitamin D levels high even fights winter depression.
Many of us in countries with cloudy, dark winters know the benefits of fatty fish oils. 3 ounces of sockeye salmon provides about 75% of your daily requirement, but tuna, fortified milk, and even eggs supply vitamin D. The best source, though, is cod liver oil – a tablespoon daily is all you need.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps your body fight stress and is especially helpful in increasing your body’s ability to produce antibodies when it comes into contact with a virus. Vitamin E is naturally found in nuts, seeds, avocado, vegetable oils, and wheat germ, as well as some dark leafy greens and fish.
Zinc is a mineral that’s been found to help boost your immune system. This is one you only need to begin taking if you feel that you’re becoming ill. It can help your body produce more white blood cells and shorten infection time. Natural sources include seafood (especially crab and lobster), meat, beans, and lentils.
Both vitamin B2 and vitamin B6, found in meat, dairy, and legumes, are known for improving the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Most vitamin B supplements contain both of these and additional forms of the vitamin as well.
Much of your immunity lies within your gut through beneficial bacteria. Unfortunately, the antibacterial products and medications that are common can also cause you to have reduced immunity. Taking a daily probiotic can help you have a stronger immune system to naturally fight off infections.
Garlic is also a natural antibiotic and antiviral that helps to reduce inflammation in your body. Eating fresh garlic is the best, but you can store herbal supplements contain garlic in your emergency supplies.
Conclusion: If you eat a balanced diet, most of these vitamins and minerals can be taken by food. Always put fresh food first and if it is necessary to take supplemental vitamins and minerals.