Vitamins and Minerals to Keep You Calm

Published: 27th September 2006
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Vitamins and minerals that help to keep you calm


In my article on this website - Let Food Be Your Medicine, I pointed out some of the major food categories which can cause even the calmest among us to become stressed and agitated.


Research supports the fact that foods containing certain vitamins and minerals help to keep you calm. If you have anxiety, panic attacks or are feeling stressed, I have listed the foods which contain calming vitamins and minerals.




VITAMIN B - THE GREAT ANTI-STRESSOR


Among the vitamins and minerals that help you de-stress, vitamin B group vitamins are top of the list. In pharmacies/Drugstores and health food stores, the B group vitamins are usually marketed as anti-stress. In the main, that claim is truthful. With a good diet, I doubt very much that you need to spend an ever-increasing amount of money on vitamin supplements.


Among the B group, vitamin B5 is a particular hero. You will find that in peanuts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and some meats. Beans, lentils, pulses, bran, wheatgerm, and all green leafy vegetables will supply all the vitamin B you need. If you do have panic attacks, or you have more generalised anxiety, it is vital that you keep track of your diet to ensure it gives you plenty of Vitamin B.


The vitamin A found particularly in raw carrots, eggs, butter, leafy green vegetables is another well researched counter to stress.


Vitamin C - is found in kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, blueberries as well as the traditional vitamin C fruits of oranges and pineapples. If, like me, you love Brussels sprouts, you are lucky because not only are they a source of Vitamin C but also of antioxidants and fibre. Goji Juice is also a rich source of many vitamins and particularly C.


The vitamin E found in eggs, dairy products and raw fruit is calming as well as being a powerful antioxidant. You know how great Vitamin E creams are for healing damaged skin, it is also essential for your general equilibrium.


LET'S MINE FOR SOME MINERALS!


Magnesium, the mighty mineral.  Found in wholegrain flour and cereal seeds, Magnesium helps fight stress. It is absolutely vital for any of you who have to endure muscle cramps, or restless legs syndrome. You cannot be lacking in Magnesium and still be calm and at peace in your body. Your eyes will twitch, your muscles will cramp and/or twitch and you will feel generally edgy. If you already have episodes of panic and anxiety, a lack of Magnesium will just make that worse. Perhaps at your next annual check-up, if your doctor does not automatically suggest it, you could ask for a blood reading to check your levels of essential vitamins and mineral.


I advise that for two reasons. First, if your levels are below par, you will need to make dietary changes and perhaps take supplements for a short time. Secondly, if your levels are fine, you will not be wasting your money to create very expensive urine. Sorry, but though I think a good all-round anti-oxidant supplement might be needed for people over thirty, any vitamin and mineral supplements our bodies do not need, are passed as waste. There is now a growing body of evidence that over-dosing on some vitamins can place a strain on your kidneys. So please always talk through these matters with your health professional and base your decisions on sustainable evidence like blood test results.


HELPFUL HERBS


There is now enough epidemiological evidence to support the fact that the following substances have a calmative effect on the body. As well as that, they are known to be non-addictive.


St Johns Wort


This is often prescribed as an anti-depressant. The warning here is that if you have been diagnosed with depression, and you're taking a prescription medication for that condition, please don't touch St Johns Wort.


I take St Johns Wort when I am working on projects where I have to spend hours, and hours (and hours) at a computer screen, my eyes sometimes develop a very annoying little twitch.  Nothing seems to help that as much as St Johns Wort. Ten days at the most, and that annoying little tick that no one else can see, is gone. I do not go on taking St Johns Wort because if I have no need for it, I respect it enough to leave it alone.


Valerian


Valerian was used extensively in the 19th century as a sleeping potion. Although there are some people who are slightly allergic to it, it is an excellent help for those of you who have to put up with insomnia.


L-Theanine:


In addition to relaxation, research suggests that L-theanine may have other positive benefits with no known downside. Those benefits include, improving learning performance, heightening mental acuity, and promoting concentration.


L-theanine takes effect within 30 minutes after consumption. It is considered to be safe based on its historical use as a component of tea. It is estimated that a heavy tea drinker (6-8 cups daily) will consume between 200 to 400 mg of L-theanine daily.


Other herbs known to aid in our response to life in the 21st century - are Passion Flower, Ginkgo Biloba, Schizandra, Chamomile Extract, Jujube Seed and Inositol.


Talk to your healthcare professional about any or all of these natural remedies. And please remember, just because they are natural, does not mean that you do not have to be careful about dosage - particularly if you are on any other medication, or if you have an ongoing medical condition. As always, to your continued success and happiness.


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