Vitamins and Minerals That Help Reduce Social Anxiety

Best Vitamins & Supplements for Anxiety

Vitamins and Minerals That Help Reduce Social Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States every year, making them one of the country’s most common mental health conditions. When left untreated, anxiety disorders can make it difficult to relax, succeed at work, maintain close friendships and participate in fulfilling activities.

While there are no medications that cure anxiety, there are many ways to manage symptoms and find more peace in your daily life. If you live with anxiety, one measure you can take to reduce your symptoms is to include supplements and vitamins for anxiety in your diet.

Article at a Glance:

  • There are many different ways to manage the symptoms of anxiety, including taking vitamins.
  • Supplements can address biological factors that contribute to anxiety and panic attacks, such as serotonin, vitamin B6 and iron deficiencies.
  • The best supplements for anxiety are thought to be GABA, passionflower, valerian root, licorice root, ashwagandha and rhodiola.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, B vitamins and L-theanine are natural vitamins for anxiety.
  • Always check with your doctor before adding new vitamins to your diet.

Best Supplements for Anxiety

Taking supplements and vitamins for anxiety relief can address the three most significant biological factors that contribute to anxiety and panic attacks:

  • Low serotonin levels: While the role of serotonin in the brain is not completely understood, it has been found to play an important part in regulating mood and anxiety.
  • Low vitamin B6 levels: Vitamin B6 is an important component required for the body to make serotonin. Low vitamin B6 levels ultimately lead to low serotonin.
  • Low iron levels: vitamin B6, iron is a necessary part of making serotonin. Building iron levels helps to avoid a serotonin deficiency.

When combined with methods talk therapy, building a strong social support system, meditation, journaling and prescription medications (if necessary), supplements can improve or correct biological factors affecting anxiety and provide relief from many of the most severe anxiety symptoms.

Some of the best supplements and vitamins for anxiety for most people include:

  • 1. GABAGamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter located in the brain that is crucial to serotonin production. Because serotonin is one of the nervous system’s most powerful, “feel-good” neurotransmitters, GABA plays a significant role in mood regulation and relaxation.How to use it: while many vitamins improve anxiety by affecting GABA levels in the brain, GABA can also be consumed directly through supplements to reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • 2. PassionflowerPassionflower is a calming herb commonly used as a household treatment for anxiety. It has been shown to promote positive moods, improve sleep quality and alleviate nervousness.How to use it: passionflower can be consumed as an extract and tablet or added into teas and tinctures.
  • 3. Valerian RootValerian root has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes since the time of ancient Greece. While valerian root is commonly known as a sleep aid, this herb can also help reduce anxiety. Once ingested, valeric acids found within the herb convert to calming, “feel-good” neurotransmitters in the body, regulating stress and relaxing the body and mind.How to use it: Valerian root extract is available in both capsule and liquid form. It is also available as a tea.
  • 4. Licorice RootPeople enjoy licorice root for its sweet taste, and it’s traditionally used in many candies and beverages. However, this herb also carries health benefits for people with anxiety because of the effects it has on the adrenal glands. Within the body, the adrenal glands produce the stress hormone cortisol. Licorice helps regulate the production of this hormone, buffeting the body’s defenses against stress and reducing anxiety symptoms. Licorice root can also soothe gastrointestinal upset, which is common in many people with anxiety.How to use it: most modern-day drinks and candies that claim to contain licorice only contain licorice flavoring, which doesn’t provide the same nutritional benefits as licorice root. It’s best to consume licorice in an extracted, purified form. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is an effective variety of medicinal licorice root sold in capsule, powder, tea and chewable tablet forms.
  • 5. AshwagandhaFor centuries, ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to combat the effects of aging, improve energy and reduce anxiety. In natural medicine, the root is considered an “adaptogen,” or a compound that helps regulate the body’s natural processes and promote overall wellness and health. Today, many people use ashwagandha to improve mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.How to use it: while the benefits of ashwagandha are gained by eating the fruit, seeds and shoots of the plant it is derived from, ashwagandha is most commonly consumed in capsule form.
  • 6. RhodiolaAlso referred to as “golden root,” rhodiola has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese and Siberian medicine. ashwagandha, Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen, meaning that it promotes physical and mental health while improving mood and resilience to stress.How to use it: Rhodiola is typically taken in capsule form. However, it is also available in extracts and teas.

Natural Vitamins for Anxiety

It’s a well-established, scientific fact that what you eat can dramatically impact your mood. Nutritional deficiencies can exacerbate mental health disorders, while a nutritionally complete diet can help alleviate symptoms.

Certain natural vitamins — or vitamins obtained by consuming whole foods — are thought to positively affect anxiety.

While most natural vitamins also exist in supplement form, they’re more effectively absorbed by the body when ingested by eating whole foods.

Some of the most common natural vitamins for anxiety include:

  • 7. Omega-3 Fatty AcidsFish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, which make up the basic building blocks of the brain and nervous system. These acids are essential for cognitive functioning and have also been shown to improve symptoms of depression, which is often closely linked with anxiety disorders.Foods that have them: these brain-boosting molecules are found in many fish species, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines and anchovies.
  • 8. ProbioticsProbiotics are microorganisms known for their benefits to digestive health. However, recent research has revealed that probiotics can also have a profound impact on mental health. A healthy balance of bacteria in the body can boost the body’s ability to cope with stress, improve overall mental health and bolster cognitive functioning.Foods that have them: probiotics are found in a wide variety of foods and drinks, particularly those created through fermentation. Some of the most common sources include sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, miso and pickles.
  • 9. B VitaminsB vitamins are vital to a healthy nervous system functioning. They play a key role in various aspects of mental health, including attention, energy and cognition. They can also significantly impact two key aspects of anxiety symptoms: stress management and mood. Because of these benefits, many people incorporate B vitamins into their diet for anxiety.Foods that have it: while B-complex supplements contain a broad range of essential B vitamins, these key nutrients are also found in a wide variety of foods, including wild salmon, shrimp, tuna, halibut, yogurt, eggs, cheese, lamb, venison, turkey, grass-fed beef, carrots and green, leafy vegetables.
  • 10. L-TheanineL-theanine is an amino acid that can improve focus, reduce stress and promote relaxation. Research has demonstrated its ability to produce positive effects on mood in humans, and a study conducted in 2018 showed that it had demonstrable anti-anxiety benefits in rats.Foods that have it: L-theanine can only be found in a few foods and drinks, including black tea, green tea and bay bolete mushrooms.

Vitamins for Panic Attacks

Currently, research on the connection between panic attacks and vitamin deficiencies is limited. However, because panic attacks are often a symptom of an anxiety disorder called panic disorder, incorporating any of the above supplements and vitamins into your diet may help you better manage the anxiety that can trigger panic attacks.

While many supplements and vitamins can be beneficial for anxiety, it’s important to check with your doctor before adding them to your diet. Taking this precaution can help prevent any potentially dangerous side effects or drug interactions.

Keep in mind that while vitamins for anxiety can be helpful, they are not a substitute for prescription medications or doctor-approved therapies. It is particularly important to speak to a medical professional if your anxiety co-occurs with another mental health condition, such as addiction.

Learn more about living with panic disorder →

Getting Help for Anxiety Disorders

If you or a loved one currently live with co-occurring substance use and anxiety disorders, professional help is available at specialized treatment centers The Recovery Village.

With locations across the country and a multifaceted approach to mental health care that includes nutritional therapy, The Recovery Village can provide hope and healing to individuals with co-occurring substance use and anxiety disorders.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward treatment, reach out to a representative today.

Find Addiction & Mental Health Support with Teletherapy →

  • Sources
    • Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “Facts & Statistics.” April 21, 2021. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Cooley, Jami. “Know the Causes & Symptoms of Panic Attacks in Women.” University Health News Daily, April 20, 2020. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Endocrine Society. “What is Serotonin?” Hormone Health Network. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Tao, R, and Auerbach, SB. “Regulation of serotonin release by GABA and excitatory amino acids.” Journal of Psychopharmocology, June 2000. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Kim, Mijin, et al. “Role Identification of Passiflora Incarnata Linnaeus: A Mini Review.” Journal of Menopausal Medicine, December 2017. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • National Institutes of Health. “Valerian.” March 15, 2013. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Head, Kathleen A. & Kelly, Gregory S. “Nutrients and Botanicals for Treatment of Stress: Adrenal Fatigue, Neurotransmitter Imbalance, Anxiety, and Restless Sleep.” Alternative Medicine Review, 2009. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Spritzler, Franziska. “12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha.” Healthline, November 3, 2019. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Rhodiola.” October 2020. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Selhub, Eva. “Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food.” Harvard Health Publishing, November 15, 2016. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Mischoulon, David. “Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders.” Harvard Health Publishing, August 3, 2018. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Jade, Kathleen. “Psychobiotics: Probiotics That May Impact Mood.” University Health Daily News, April 1, 2020. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Kennedy, David O. “B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review.” Nutrients, February 2016. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Nobre, Anna; Rao, Anling; Owen, Gail. “L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008. Accessed September 2, 2021.
    • Ogawa, Shintaro et al. “Effects of l-theanine on anxiety- behavior, cerebrospinal fluid amino acid profile, and hippocampal activity in Wistar Kyoto rats.” Psychopharmocology, October 3, 2017. Accessed September 2, 2021.
  • Medical Disclaimer

    The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.

    We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

    View our editorial policy or view our research.

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How can my diet reduce my anxiety?

Vitamins and Minerals That Help Reduce Social Anxiety

These foods—along with medication and therapy—can help minimize your symptoms

While anxiety is the body’s natural response to fear and worry, living with an anxiety disorder is challenging and can interfere with a person’s daily life.

Anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, affect patients in a myriad of ways.

Common symptoms of panic disorder include heart palpitations, trembling, shortness of breath, and feeling you’re control. Once a person is diagnosed with a panic disorder, medication or therapy may be prescribed.

Dietary changes can also potentially make a big difference to the condition. Here’s what you need to know about an anti-anxiety diet.

5 foods (and drinks) to help reduce anxiety

Research concerning which foods reduce anxiety is relatively new and good research is scarce, but many nutritionists have long lists of nutritious items that they recommend to clients dealing with anxiety disorders. 

1. Produce

“Eating balanced and healthy meals that are high in essential nutrients can improve overall mental health,” says Tahia Haque, MD, a psychiatrist with Savant Care. “Foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts are ripe with vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.” 

They’re also packed with antioxidants. “Antioxidants are important in the body to combat many health issues, including anxiety,” says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet.

“They work by fighting toxins and free radicals that can lead to cell damage. When this damage occurs in the brain and nervous system, anxiety is not far behind.

” In other words, a plant-centric diet is a great vehicle for nutrition that can help your mood.


Nutrient-rich foods cruciferous vegetablescan help lower inflammation in the body, which in turn can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

“By the time anxiety has become chronic, there can be significant vitamin and mineral deficits, and you may require simple sources to replenish rapidly,” says Steve Hoody, DC, a New York-based nutritionist and founder of Healthier2Gether. “These would include seaweed and any of the cruciferous vegetables broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.” 

What should you do if salads and leafy greens aren’t your thing? “To add packed nutrients to a meal, grab a bag of frozen peas and carrots that you can steam, microwave, or toss into a soup,” suggests Dr. Haque.


Much fresh vegetables, fruit is also potentially beneficial to patients with mood disorders anxiety.

A 2015 study of more than 6,000 women found that adding more fruit to your diet was an important factor for reducing the prevalence and incidence of depressive symptoms for participants.

Many fruits (such as apples, berries, plums, and whole grains chia seeds) are packed with antioxidants, which research shows could help to reduce anxious feelings.

Pomegranate juice and watermelon

A 2015 study asked patients diagnosed with depressive disorders including anxiety to undertake a plant-based diet, which included the consumption of watermelon juice and pomegranates. The participants reported substantial benefits, including improvements in anxiety and depression symptoms.

“Watermelon and pomegranate juice have tremendous anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties,” says Hoody. “All of the above also contain many vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients.” Phytonutrients may help reduce inflammation and free radicals in your body.

Citrus fruit

“Orange is good for anxiety,” says Elliot Reimers, a certified nutrition coach at Rave Reviews. “It’s rich in vitamin C, which makes you feel calm and helps you have a better mindset. Fruits are also rich in antioxidants, which have been linked to better management of anxiety symptoms.” 

Even vitamin C supplements may be beneficial. A randomized controlled trial found that higher plasma vitamin C concentration reduced anxiety. 

2. Omega-3 fatty acids

Research shows that high doses of omega-3 fatty acid supplements—up to 2,000 mg daily—can help reduce anxiety symptoms. Eating a diet rich in omega-3s can also be beneficial.

“Choose foods that are rich in magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, whole grains, salmon, oysters, and asparagus,” says Reimers. Any fatty fish is a safe bet to add an omega-3 punch to your diet.

If you do not enjoy seafood, flax seeds are also an excellent source of fatty acids.

3. Probiotics

A 2016 study noted that probiotics may be used as a new treatment for anxiety. Probiotics are found in fermented foods kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles. If all that vinegar brine is unappealing, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha are also excellent sources of probiotics.

4. Chocolate

Studies have also examined the link between the consumption of cocoa and the treatment of stress and anxiety disorders. Additional research is needed, but if you need an excuse to indulge, now you have it. Chocolate bars with a high cocoa content, dark chocolate, are the most beneficial.

5. Water

Staying hydrated is beneficial to everyone, but according to experts, it has additional benefits for patients with anxiety. In fact, one 2018 study found an association between drinking plain water and the decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults.

“Water in and of itself has calming properties,” explains Jenny Fontana, a nutritional therapist and certified food addictions coach. “Drinking water and staying hydrated can lessen the intensity of the anxiety and could help to lower cortisol levels.

Not only by the actual hydration benefits for body and brain function, but also the sensory stimulation can break the anxiety-inducing thoughts.

Keeping your attention on drinking the water gives your mind and body the break it needs to reduce the intensity of the anxiety.”

When you’re tired of plain water, try upping your fluid intake with chamomile tea. “Chamomile tea is a great way to wind down or take a peaceful moment during the day,” Dr. Haque says. “It has benefits that improve overall health and can help with stress-relief.” 

Just be sure to consult your healthcare provider first. “Generally, clinical studies that look to understand the benefits of teas and herbs often have mixed or inconclusive results,” Dr. Haque explains. “If you are looking to start or try a new alternative treatment to help with mental health issues, please talk to your provider first.”

5 foods (and drinks) to avoid

Just as some foods and drinks are thought to improve the symptoms of anxiety, there are some that might worsen the condition and would be best avoided. “Food can help and hinder anxiety by either providing us with calming nutrients, tryptophan, or nutrients that trigger anxiety,” says Trista Best, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.

1. Processed foods

Research found that eating fast food increases feelings of mental distress. This occurs for two main reasons. “Foods that are highly processed are more ly to be deficient in nutrients,” Dr. Haque says. Meaning, they aren’t giving you the antioxidants and vitamins you need to maintain your mood.

Additionally, processed foods are high in saturated fats, trans fats, and omega-6 fatty acids. These are detrimental to your health and can increase levels of inflammation.

“An ongoing state of inflammation is known to cause mood and hormonal changes as well,” says Best.

Eating an anti-anxiety diet means avoiding processed meat (such as pepperoni, hot dogs, or bacon), fried food, and packaged snacks. 

2. Sugary drinks

A 2017 study found that increased sugar intake from sweet food or beverages increases the chance of mood disorders. “Most refined drinks or foods can play a big part in triggering anxiety,” agrees Hoody.

“They are void of vitamins and minerals and can cause a spike in blood sugar and then a quick drop. They will literally steal vitamins and minerals the body, those nutrients that are critical to resolving anxiety. Therefore, most refined drinks must be avoided at all costs.

” That means, eliminate fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks from your diet. Replace these with water or chamomile tea.

3. Refined carbohydrates

A 2018 study in mice suggests an increased intake of carbohydrates could predispose a person to have anxiety- symptoms.

“Refined carbohydrates those found in sugar-laden foods such as pastries and convenience foods can trigger a state of anxiety in several ways,” says Best.

“These foods cause a quick rise and fall in blood glucose which leads to mood and hormonal imbalance. These foods also leave us feeling hungry more quickly, which can cause anxiety.

” To limit this reaction, cut back on cakes, cookies, sugary cereals, white bread, and processed pasta.

4. Caffeine

Drinking too much of your morning joe can make you feel jittery and on edge. Caffeine may also interfere with sleep when you have it too late in the day, and improper sleep can impact your mental health.

Research has found an association between high caffeine intake and anxiety and depression. If you think it might be a problem for you, try gradually reducing the number of cups you have per day. Switch to decaf.

And, don’t forget to dial back the energy drinks and soda, too.

5. Alcohol

caffeine, alcohol is a major sleep disruptor. A glass of wine before bed may make you feel tired, but it often impacts the quality of your z’s.

On top of that, alcohol use disorders are linked to mood disorders—including anxiety. Your safest bet is to reduce your alcohol intake. Alternate the hard stuff with a mocktail, or flavored seltzer.

Or, try one of the many new non-alcoholic IPAs that many breweries offer.

Is fasting good for anxiety?

Just as the foods and drinks we put into our bodies can impact our physical and mental health, fasting is a method used by some to regulate their conditions. A study in mice found that fasting decreased anxious behavior and improved memory.

“Anxiety, because of its stress on the body, can often cause high or low blood sugar,” explains Hoody. “Proper fasting, most often water fasting or intermittent fasting, can help to stabilize low or high blood sugar.

Bringing food into our body typically spikes blood sugar and then we depend on the body to lower it again.

During fasting, the lack of food means less spiking of the blood sugar levels, so a more normal blood sugar level can be attained.”

Alongside making changes to your diet for anxiety, you can manage anxiety in several ways.

1. Medication

A plethora of medications are prescribed for the treatment of anxiety.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Lexapro (escitalopram), Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Celexa (citalopram), are often prescribed for longer term anxiety.

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), such as Effexor (venlafaxine) and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), are also prescribed to help regulate patients’ moods. These medications listed above have been FDA approved for years, are dosed once a day, and are non-addictive. 

2. Supplements

If you think your diet is not giving you all the nutrients you need, adding vitamins into your daily regimen may also positively impact an anxiety disorder. Consider vitamin D, vitamin B, and calcium supplementation.

“Vitamin D and vitamin B complex have been found useful in reducing the symptoms of anxiety,” says Reimers.

“They’re important in managing the mood and stress levels of a person, so deficiencies in them have been linked to anxiety disorders.”

“Calcium is thought to prevent hormone disorders,” says Richards. “Low levels of calcium and diets low in calcium overall have been linked to bone degeneration and mood disorders. The connection is not fully understood, but it does occur.”

3. CBD

CBD is also being more frequently used to aid the symptoms of anxiety. According to SingleCare’s CBD survey, 49% of survey respondents reported using CBD for anxiety and stress. And multiple studies have found that CBD might be an effective treatment for some anxiety disorders. So, CBD is commonly used and researchers are unsure of the benefits for anxiety. 

“With the exception of seizure disorders, there is more clinical evidence in support of CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety than any other medical condition,” says Jamie Corron, ND, a medical adviser for CV Sciences.

“Numerous clinical trials have been conducted around the world, primarily using individuals with social anxiety, or healthy individuals exposed to an anxiety-provoking experience in a controlled research setting.” The studies found that CBD reduced anxiety.

More research is needed, but the current evidence is promising. 

Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before making changes to your treatment routine. Certain foods and supplements can interact negatively with medications. When in doubt, call your local pharmacist. 


The 6 best vitamins and minerals for easing anxiety

Vitamins and Minerals That Help Reduce Social Anxiety

Magnesium is a miracle mineral for stress and anxiety, so it only makes sense to start by saying more about this nutrient. Magnesium performs several key functions throughout the body that benefit your nervous system, thus reducing anxiety symptoms. This mineral helps convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin, a key mood-boosting neurotransmitter.

Magnesium is also needed to maintain healthy levels of GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid. As your brain's main inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA helps your mind and body relax. Understandably, this neurotransmitter is pretty important for your sleep patterns and mood, with low levels contributing to feelings of anxiety, restlessness or even insomnia.

How much each day?Health Canada recommends getting from 320–420 mg of magnesium per day. Here at A.

Vogel, we always say that you should be able to get all the magnesium you need from your diet alone—there are plenty of magnesium-rich foods out there for you to pick from.

However, certain groups of people, such as menopausal women, may wish to try a supplement, in which case we recommend MenoSupport complex, which contains Magnesium Citrate.

Best food sources: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, bananas, avocados, dark chocolate and cashews

2. Vitamin D

While Vitamin D is best known as a nutrient, what most people don't know is that it can act as a hormone too. In addition to supporting calcium absorption, vitamin D helps keep your immune system running smoothly and may even play a role in depression and problems such as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

When it comes to your mood, the action of vitamin D isn't well understood, but we do know that deficiencies are linked to anxiety and that vitamin D receptors are prolific in the areas of your brain associated with depression.

This has led some experts to theorize about a possible relationship between vitamin D and serotonin.

How much each day?
Vitamin D is different from other nutrients in that you don't obtain it through your diet. Instead, your body relies on your exposure to sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. But because sunny days can be few and far between in winter, vitamin D deficiencies are quite common.

While you can source vitamin D from the foods you eat, most people these days prefer supplements. If you suspect that you're deficient, start by getting your hunch confirmed by a doctor.
Best food sources: Fortified milk, tofu, salmon, mackerel and shiitake mushrooms

3. Calcium

One of the most abundant elements in your body, calcium is crucial for maintaining healthy bones, muscle contractions and nerves. In the case of your mood, low levels of calcium are often linked to problems such as anxiety or stress, especially in menstruating women. This is because a calcium deficiency can result in PMS-related depression.

How much each day?It's estimated that adults over the age of 19 need around 1,000 mg of calcium a day, predominantly from dietary sources.

When it comes to calcium supplements, many prefer to use one combining calcium and other nutrients, rather than containing calcium alone.

These days, calcium and magnesium are a popular combo, as they work together to tackle muscular tension.

Best food sources: Milk, cheese, broccoli, salmon, soybeans and figs

4. Zinc

Zinc might be a trace mineral, but it's definitely not to be underestimated. You need sufficient zinc for everything from maintaining eye and prostate health to manufacturing new cells.

Your mood is definitely no exception here—did you know that zinc is mainly concentrated in your brain? Here, it helps to regulate GABA, that calming neurotransmitter I mentioned earlier, while playing a role in producing serotonin, alongside vitamin B6.

Unfortunately, zinc deficiencies aren't unheard of here in Canada, and they can lead to symptoms such as poor wound healing, low immune function, low mood and hair loss. One easy way to tell if you're zinc deficient is to look at your nails: small white spots on them could be a sign that you lack zinc!

How much each day?

As I've mentioned, zinc is a trace nutrient, so you only need very small amounts of it, around 8 mg to 11 mg a day. But if we only need small amounts, why are deficiencies so widespread? It's due in part to how the body absorbs zinc. Generally, meat-based sources are more readily absorbed than plant-based sources, which can create problems for vegan and vegetarians.

Best food sources: Shellfish, lentils, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, eggs and potatoes

5. Iron

Iron deficiencies are extremely common, especially among menstruating women.

This is extremely unfortunate, as low levels of iron are linked to a plethora of unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches and brittle nails.

What's even worse for your stress levels is the fact that if your iron levels are low, less oxygen-rich blood is being pumped around your body, which can promote feelings of anxiety.

How much each day?How much iron you need each day can depend on a number of factors. Healthy men and women, for example, will only need 8 mg, while healthy pregnant women need a much higher intake of 27 mg.

The problem is that these figures can fluctuate, especially in the case of menstruating women, who usually have a higher demand for iron around the time of their period. Vegans and vegetarians, again, are at risk of a deficiency here, as meat-based foods generally provide not only more iron, but a more readily absorbed form of it, than do plant-based sources.

That's why iron supplements are becoming increasingly popular; however, as always, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing can be extremely detrimental to your body, so try to make sure you're taking a gentle supplement that's going to be well-absorbed by your body.

While Bio-Strath, on its own, doesn't contain enough iron to be considered an iron supplement, it does optimize the absorption and assimilation of iron from a normal, healthy diet and won't lead to constipation problems.

Best food sources: Beef, pumpkin seeds, spinach, lentils and cashews

6. B vitamins

There are eight different B vitamins, each performing their own distinct functions throughout the body. However, one thing many of them do have in common is that they can help with the management of anxiety.Let's start by looking at vitamin B1, also known as thiamine.

This nutrient helps to convert carbohydrates into energy that your body can then utilize as a fuel source, so it's naturally a good one to keep in mind if fatigue is a problem for you.

It's also believed that B1 can help regulate your blood glucose levels which, again, can have a positive impact on anxiety symptoms.Next, there's vitamin B3, or niacin.

You need vitamin B3 to help metabolize alcohol, fats and glucose but, in addition to dealing with these tricky substances, this nutrient also supports the production of serotonin.

This is similar to vitamins B9 and B12 (folate and cobalamin, respectively), which often work in tandem to help manufacture red blood cells and are speculated to be a good combination for low mood issues depression.Finally, there's vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, which helps release energy from the food we eat. This vitamin also supports the adrenal glands, thus reducing many of the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

How much each day?

When it comes to B vitamins, the amount you need on a daily basis will vary from vitamin to vitamin, which is why I've listed the basic requirements below:• B1: 1.1–1.2 mg• B3: 14–16 mg• B9: 400 µg• Due to a lack of suitable data, the RDA could not be established for vitamin B12 or pantothenic acid or biotin

When it comes to supplements, we usually recommend taking a B complex rather than individual supplements for each nutrient. Bio-Strath is one complex we suggest to our customers here at A.

Vogel, as it contains 61 vital substances naturally present in herbal yeast—B and C vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, amino acids and general building substances—which help support and maintain healthy energy levels.

Food sources: Sunflower seeds, bananas, avocados, lentils, mackerel, wholegrain bread and broccoli


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