Anti-stress nutrients

Stress washes out many essential nutrients making your body too weak to fight back. Make sure you compensate for any shortfalls with your diet. Nuts, seeds, dried fruits and vegetables are especially rich in anti-stress nutrients. A small handful of them will put you back on track.

B Vitamins

B Vitamins have been called the “happy vitamins” or “anti-stress vitamins” because they can improve your mood and increase your tolerance to stress.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Vitamin B1 is very beneficial for your overall health. It is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body. Thiamine is needed for the metabolism of sugars and amino acids. B1 is important in keeping the nervous system healthy and plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy mental attitude. It can help stabilize mood and improve memory and concentration. Thiamine’s phosphate derivatives are involved in many cellular processes. As people are unable to make it, thiamine is an essential nutrient. All organisms use vitamin B1, but it is made only in bacteria, fungi, and plants. Humans must obtain it from their diet. Vitamin B1 is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Sunflower seeds and macadamias are one of the best sources of B1.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

B2 is required by the body for cellular respiration – a set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products. Respiration is one of the key ways a cell releases chemical energy to fuel cellular activity. Riboflavin is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) for riboflavin for adults are 0.9 mg/day.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

B3 supports the functions of the nervous and digestive system. The body can produce niacin from the amino acid L-tryptophan. A deficiency in B3 can cause depression, irritability, stress and mood disturbances. Niacin functions to help the body release energy from carbohydrates. This can control blood sugar and maintain nervous system functioning.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)

B6 is crucial for dopamine and serotonin production. B6 can help the body manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress and anxiety. B6 may also help boost the immune system during times of anxiety.

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid is an essential vitamin needed for energy. The body is unable to produce folic acid on its own. If there is a deficiency in folic acid, people may experience depression and fatigue which may produce higher levels of stress. B9 strengthens memory and concentration while preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Zinc and selenium increase “happy hormones” production

Those minerals have been scientifically proven to prevent depression and anxiety. Zink plays a crucial role in the synthesis of serotonin, one of four hormones of happiness. Researchers from the University of Barcelona found that people had higher levels of serotonin metabolites after nut consumption. Low levels of zinc are common among those suffering from stress. The Daily Value (DV) for zinc is 15mg. Foods providing 20% of the DV are considered to be high sources of this mineral. Doses larger than 25mg may cause anemia and copper deficiency.

Amino acid tryptophan

Amino acid tryptophan is a biochemical precursor for serotonin, which is a well-known hormone of happiness. Serotonin produces your happiness, and tryptophan produces serotonin. The recommended daily intake for tryptophan is 4mg per kilogram of body weight: a person weighing 70kg (about 154 pounds) should consume approximately 280mg of tryptophan per day.


Amino acid tyrosine

Amino acid tyrosine is required for dopamine production. Although dopamine is found in many types of food, it is incapable of crossing the blood–brain barrier that surrounds and protects the brain. Therefore, it must be synthesized inside the brain from tyrosine. The recommended daily intake for phenylalanine and tyrosine is 25mg per kilogram of body weight, or 11mg per pound.


Magnesium calms down the nerves helping to regulate nerve and muscle tone. It counterbalances calcium and by blocking calcium’s entry, magnesium keeps the nerves relaxed. Magnesium deficiency leads to muscle tension and cramps. The stress response involves the influx of calcium into cells, resulting in a drastic change in the cells’ internal magnesium-to-calcium ratio. Normal cells contain 10,000 times more magnesium than calcium. If the amount of cellular magnesium falls, calcium flows into the cell putting the cell into a hyperactive state. This can cause muscle contraction and lead to painful cramping. Magnesium is excreted in larger amounts when you’re under stress. Yet, according to the USDA, an estimated 57% of Americans are deficient in this important mineral.


Choline is a water-soluble vitamin-like essential nutrient. Choline is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in secretion of nitric oxide.


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