There are people in this world who get that anxious feeling now and then, and there are others who put up a constant battle with anxiety. No matter where you are on the spectrum, you’re not alone. Over 40 million people suffer from anxiety in the United States (1). It’s a disorder that causes a person to feel unsettled, worried, concerned, and apprehensive. It can come as subtle waves or as a full-blown anxiety attack.
Treatment options for anxiety vary. There are prescriptions, therapies, and even natural supplements that have been shown to help. More times than not, vitamins can be overlooked when it comes to anxiety, but research shows certain vitamins can be quite promising for a person who suffers. However, you don’t want to throw back a ton of vitamins and hope for the best—not all vitamins are the same when it comes to easing the symptoms of anxiety.
Did You Know:
The pepper plant, kava, was used to treat anxiety before researchers found it causes liver disease.
If you suffer from anxiety and are looking for relief from vitamins, these are the ones to consider:
Researchers have found that vitamin D plays an important role in brain health and in the overall mood of a person. A 2015 study reports that people with symptoms of anxiety or depression had decreased levels of calcidiol in their bodies, which is a byproduct of vitamin D breakdown (2). Experts agree that adults should get at least 2000 IU of vitamin D daily so feel our best.
Vitamin D, also known as the happy hormone, is created in our bodies when we are exposed to sunlight, so someone suffering from anxiety could benefit from getting out in the sun.
Vitamin B is a great vitamin to incorporate into our daily lives. It offers many benefits including the ability to help balance stress. Since stress is a trigger for anxiety, it’s important that people who suffer from anxiety get the recommended amount of vitamin B complex. Vitamin B complex will include vitamin B6, B12, and other important vitamins in the vitamin B family. These vitamins work together to manage different functions and processes within the body.
- A 2014 study showed a 20% decrease in stress from people who consumed more vitamin B (3).
‘Vegetarians are almost always deficient in vitamin B’: Although vitamin B12 and B2 are mostly found in animal-based foods, there are other ways to get the daily recommended value of vitamin B such as cheese, eggs, and cereal. If you’re looking for a vegan source, GEM contains b-complex to help fill the gaps in your diet.
When a person is low in magnesium they may notice the following symptoms, all of which are contributing factors to anxiety:
- Stiff muscles
Magnesium helps the body to regulate nerve function, blood pressure, decrease stress, and manage other important processes. When dealing with anxiety, a 2010 study found that magnesium could be used as a treatment (4).
A person who struggles with anxiety may want to consider adding magnesium to their diet. This can be through supplements such as a multivitamin from GEM or through magnesium-rich foods like spinach, dark chocolate, and almonds.
Have you ever woken up feeling like you didn’t sleep at all? You may have too little or too much magnesium in your body (5). When the body is high or low in magnesium, it can disturb a person’s sleep quality.
When a person hears “omega-3” it’s common that the first thing they think about is fish oil pills. However, omega-3 is so much more than that. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in brain function which has a huge impact on anxiety.
A systematic review and meta-analysis study found that omega-3 may aid in the treatment of anxiety (6). This is because omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve clarity, focus, and regulate blood pressure, all of which are associated causes of anxiety.
Omega-3 can be found in foods such as fish, avocado, and nuts. However, you can also get omega-3 through daily vitamins.
“Omega-3 fatty acids will make me fat”: This misconception is the farthest thing from the truth. A 2015 study conducted over 12 weeks actually found that 3 grams of fish oil a day increased metabolic rate by 12% (7).
By The Digits
40 million: adults suffer from anxiety in the United States (1).
92%: of people are deficient in at least one vitamin (8).
30 years: The number of years it’s been since the first anxiety disorder was categorized on its own (9).
The Bottom Line
When it comes to mental health including anxiety, and the vitamins and minerals that can help, the list goes on. In addition to our list above, there’s also L-theanine, lemon, passionflower, valerian root, lavender, chamomile, ashwagandha, GABA, amino acids, green tea, and vitamin C. All of these have been found to help with the treatment of anxiety in some way.
Additionally, vitamins aren’t the only way to cope or manage the symptoms of anxiety. Other options that have been proven successful include exercise, meditation, and a healthy diet.
It’s no secret that vitamins are essential to the human body in general, but if you find yourself struggling with a disorder such as anxiety, we recommend consulting with your doctor about your options.
“I don’t need vitamins if I eat a balanced diet”: Most of us are aware of the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. However, even when we do eat well, studies have found that nearly 10% of Americans are still vitamin deficient (10). That’s why it’s important to take a multivitamin daily.