How Vitamins and Supplements May Help to Reduce Stress
Constantly stressing is a by-product of today’s modern, fast-paced society. While the occasional “fight or flight” response is a natural thing for humans to experience, we should not be feeling it frequently. This constant state of stress can lead to unwanted health problems, such as migraines1 and sleep disorders.
As a result, we can develop unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as turning to nicotine or alcohol to take the edge off. Of course, this just leads to negative cycles with difficult-to-break habits.
In fact, stress is a contributing factor in the six leading causes of death in America2 – a list that includes big-name health concerns such as heart disease, cancer, and lung disease.
If you’re stuck in this vicious cycle and want to break it, then you may want to try natural supplements. Some of these have been used by people for thousands of years, appearing in traditional Chinese and Ayurveda medicine.
Check out these 3 natural herbal remedies:
Ashwagandha is deeply rooted in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The entire plant, from the roots to the seeds, has beneficial properties – particularly reducing stress.
The benefits of Ashwagandha are wide-ranging3, but it’s most popular for helping people deal with stress. A particularly interesting study from 20174 showed that those who took Ashwagandha experienced a 44% stress level reduction, as opposed to the placebo group which just experienced a 5.5% decrease. Another randomized 2012 clinical trial5 showed similarly impressive levels of stress reduction after just 60 days.
Rhodiola is found in the arctic regions of Asia and Europe. The plant has a very long history in medicine, dating all the way back to 77 C.E. Also known as Golden Root, it has been used for energy enhancement, mood improvement, and reducing stress.
An interesting 2009 double-blind study6, found that Rhodiola was able to reduce stress and increase alertness in doctors on night shifts.
3. Valerian Root
Native to Europe, valerian root has been used to help with nervousness, anxiety, and there is evidence to suggest that valerian root eases stress7.
What the root is most well-known for, is its abilities for supporting quality sleep8. Valerian root actually has a pretty calming, almost sedative effect.
Since a lack of sleep can be a trigger of stress, the best thing that you can do is to get a full night’s rest – and valerian root is potent enough to help you achieve that.
Besides these natural herbal remedies, there are other ways to reduce your stress by increasing your vitamin and mineral intake, since both vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also be a contributing factor.
1. Vitamin B Complex
Low energy and fatigue can contribute to both irritabilities and increased levels of stress. Therefore, the B vitamins, which are well-documented as maintaining high energy levels as well as improving cognitive performance, can help to reduce your stress. The clinical data suggest that a vitamin B complex supplement may help keep your energy high and stress low9.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for helping promote both healthy muscle and nerve function. A 2012 study published10 by the National Institute of Health demonstrated that taking a magnesium supplement may help to improve sleep quality.
A better night’s sleep = Less stressed during the day.
4. Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial., 2017 Jan;22(1):96-106. Epub 2016 Apr 6
5. A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults, 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 255–262
8. Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis., 2006 Dec;119(12):1005-12