Which is the Best Stress Vitamin?
Go shopping for a stress vitamin, go online and look for one, or check out books and magazine articles about vitamins, and you'll get a whole lot of confusing information. Vitamins A, C, D, and all the B vitamins, zinc, various herbal preparations, and multivitamin - all are purported to be the best stress vitamin. How is a person to make any sense out of it all?
Nutrition and Stress
One place to start is to look at nutrition and how it affects stress. The SAD (Standard American Diet) does have a significant role in our ability to adapt to stress. The excess fat puts us at risk for a number of chronic health problems. Excess protein stresses our kidneys, while processed sugars and carbohydrates stress our insulin response and may lead to hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance.
Our diet has too much of some things, and not enough of others. We don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins and minerals (that's where we would naturally get our stress vitamin), and we don't get enough fiber. All of this makes us obese, which is stressful in every possible way.
We may also be exposed to toxic chemicals through our food. Toxins come from pesticides and herbicides used in farming, from additives to animal food, from hormones given to animals, and from bacterial contamination of food because animals live in dirty, crowded conditions.
So, we can agree that, even though we have rich, varied diets in the US, the SAD doesn't do much to help us with stress. In fact, it usually just makes it worse.
The Stress Vitamin Issue
Vitamins are essential for health. They play a role in immunity, making hormones, healing from illness, and most cell processes. The SAD diet is vitamin poor, so it does make sense that adding a vitamin would help with stress, but which stress vitamin would you choose?
More Nutrition and Stress
Again, we'll start with nutrition. If we eat a wide variety of the right kinds of foods, we should get all the vitamins we need for good health and stress resistance.
A good diet is rich in complex, unrefined carbohydrates, which means beans and other legumes, brown rice, and other whole grains. A good diet has very minimal amounts of refined carbohydrates, such as white flour, sugar, and corn syrup. Only modest amounts of protein are needed, and one serving of meat is about the size of a pack of cards. You only need two or three servings of protein a day, and it can come from legumes or dairy products, as well as meat.
A good diet has small amounts of the right kinds of fat, like mono saturated fats that are high in omega-3 oils. A good diet is rich in fruits and vegetables with at least six to eight half-cup servings per day.
A good diet has enough calories to maintain a high energy level, keep you healthy, and maintain your weight at an optimal level, but not so many calories that you gain weight (unless you're a kid, pregnant, or should gain weight for some medical reason).
The best diet uses food that is organically grown and has no GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) components, but the best diet is impractical for a lot of people. For that reason, it probably is a good idea to take a good multivitamin supplement every day.
The best stress vitamin comes from eating a healthy diet, and a good multivitamin supplement will make up any mild stress vitamin deficits you might still have.
Add to Favorites
Add to Del.icio.us
Send to a Friend