This blog post was sponsored by MegaFood Canada
Did you know that certain essential vitamins and minerals play a very key role in helping to keep the nervous system in check and anxiety at bay?
In fact, there are certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can often be directly linked to increased anxiety levels. Of course the underlying triggers for anxiety are often multi-faceted, however something that often goes all too overlooked is the impact one’s nutrient levels can have on their anxiety.
In this blog post, we are going to specifically look at how certain vitamins and minerals can play a key role in anxiety support. You’ll also learn what you can do if you think you might be deficient in any of these key nutrients that your body needs to help keep anxiety at bay!
Why Certain Vitamins & Minerals Are Essential for Anxiety Support?
Our bodies and minds are brilliant and highly resilient – however they do require a specific and unique balance of nutrients in order to function optimally!
When it comes to anxiety on a physiological level – there is A LOT at play which can impact anxiety levels. For example, there are various neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA that play a very key role in regulating mood. A large majority of these neurotransmitters are produced in the gut, and communicate to the brain by way of the gut brain axis. On top of this, there are also various vitamins & minerals that help to regulate the nervous system and can have a huge impact on one’s overall anxiety levels!
Examples of Vitamins & Minerals that Impact Anxiety Levels?
Listed below you’ll learn some of the many vitamins and minerals that play an important role in helping to manage anxiety levels.
Magnesium: Magnesium is an essential mineral that has a very calming effect on the body. Magnesium also plays an important role in regulating neurotransmitters that help with mood balance, such as serotonin and GABA. (1)
Zinc: Not only is zinc an important mineral that supports immune function, wound healing, and healthy growth, zinc is also needed for the cells of the nervous system to communicate properly. In fact, certain studies suggest that zinc may play an important role in the fear response (2) and therefore adequate levels are very important for managing anxiety.
B Vitamins: The “B vitamins” play SO many important roles in the body! You can read specifically about the role each of the 8 essential B vitamins play in another blog post here. However, what’s important to know is that the B vitamins are particularly supportive for mood regulation, reducing anxiety & depression, improving memory, keeping hormone levels in check, and can even help to reduce PMS.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a significant role in mood regulation, as well as nerve and brain health (3). Deficiencies in Vitamin D have been strongly linked to depression and anxiety (4). It’s important to note this as 42% of the American population is deficient in Vitamin D!
Iron: Iron is another incredibly important nutrient that helps to keep so much of our body functioning optimally! Along with helping red blood cells to carry oxygen through the body, adequate iron levels are also essential for dopamine production (5) which is known as our ‘pleasure/ feel good hormone.’ Iron plays many other roles in keeping the nervous system in check and having adequate stores are very important to do so!
Why Might Your Nutrient Levels be Depleted?
Okay so now that we’re clear on the fact that there are all sorts of vitamins and minerals that play an important role in keeping anxiety at bay, now it’s time to get on to the real question of why might nutrient levels might be depleted in the first place?
STRESS IS DEPLETING:
As unfortunate as this is – it’s really true, meaning it can make for a vicious cycle! The more stressed you are, the easier your body can get depleted in nutrients. And then the more depleted in nutrients your body is, the more stressed/ anxious one might feel!
In today’s day the nutrients found in the soil are nowhere near where they used to be! In fact, a study done in 2004 on 43 different fruits and vegetables compared nutrient data between 1950 to 1999. The study found ‘reliable declines’ in nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) vitamin C, and even protein in the produce grown in the late 90’s, compared with its same counterpart grown in the 1950s. (6)
This one might be the most clear and simple! Having a diet that is lacking in adequate amounts of fresh fruit, veggies, proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats is definitely a lead cause of nutrient deficiencies.
In the modern day ‘Standard American Diet’ people often eat more than enough calories, but far too little nutrients! One of the best ways to ensure you’re actually getting enough nutrients is to focus more on a whole foods based diet. This means eating real whole foods that grow on this earth, with minimal processing. Great examples of whole foods include; nuts, seeds, legumes, fresh veg & fruit, pasture raised eggs, wild fish etc.
ABSORPTION/ GUT HEALTH ISSUES:
You may likely have heard the quote, ‘you are what you eat’ – however more accurate than that is, ‘you are what you eat and your body can absorb’. Unfortunately gut issues are highly prevalent today, meaning many people struggling in this area might be eating an incredibly nutrient rich diet, but not actually be getting the benefit from doing so!
In order to help prevent or heal gut issues it’s a great idea to work with a health care practitioner who can give you the tools you need. If you’re struggling with absorption it’s important to take the necessary steps to heal your gut and then slowly build your way back up to eating (and absorbing) all sorts of the nutrient dense foods your body & mind need to thrive!
What Can You Do About Depleted Nutrient Levels?
First and foremost, it’s important to focus on consuming a more whole foods based and blood sugar balancing diet! You want to be sure you’re eating enough diversity and abundance within your diet to help replenish any nutrient deficiencies and to also avoid them from reoccurring in the future!
My second recommendation to help correct or prevent depleted nutrient levels is to take a multivitamin – however not just any multi! I recommend taking ‘MegaFood Canada’s Women’s One Daily‘ for females who are in their menstruating years.
Women’s One Daily contains all sorts of important essential nutrients and is made from real, whole foods such as organic kale, nettle, and Shitake mushrooms, all grown by highly trusted farm partners. Each vitamin or mineral within the multi is paired with an ideal whole food in order to help provide maximal benefit of the health-promoting compounds present in the whole food itself! Not only this, MegaFood Canada’s supplements are glyphosate residue free, tested for 125+ pesticides/ herbicides, non GMO, and both dairy & soy free!
I recommend MegaFood Canada Women’s One Daily as it’s loaded with many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to support a healthy nervous system in order to help ease anxiety. Women’s One Daily can also be incredibly supportive for hormone balance, energy support, and helping to keep your body functioning optimally!
Lastly, in order to help ensure nutrient deficiencies aren’t contributing to your anxiety, it’s a great idea to work with a health care practitioner (such as a nutritionist like myself) in order to be sure your diet and supplements are offering the most amount of support possible to your body and mind!
In conclusion, as you can see there are all sorts of nutrients that play an incredibly important role in helping to support anxiety levels.
It’s important to note what might cause nutrient deficiencies in the first place such as:
- High levels of stress
- Depleted soils that our food grows in
- A diet lacking in nutrient dense whole foods
- Absorption/ gut health issues
In order to help reduce nutrient deficiencies that can lead to anxiety, it’s important to ensure you’re eating a nutrient dense whole food diet loaded with fresh fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, legumes, healthy fats, whole grains, nourishing proteins, etc.
Lastly, it’s a GREAT idea to take MegaFood Canada’s Women’s One Daily in order to help ensure that your body and mind are getting what they need to thrive! It’s my most favourite ‘all in one’ supplement ever and I can’t recommend it enough!