The greater the demands that stress imposes on our energy and physical processes, the greater the need for nutrients to support them.
There are certain nutrients which are vital to normal function of the nervous system and of which we need an adequate supply at all times.
Unless they are in plentiful supply during times of stress a deficient arise, further exacerbating any stress-related problems. It is apparent that some people naturally require more of certain nutrients for the nervous system than others, and these people more easily become deficient, making them particularly prone to stress, anxiety, depression and psychiatric problems.
Vitamins and minerals are both involved neurotransmitter production, and the transport of vital blood components to the brain, so that the nervous system works properly.
Calcium: Milk, milk products, green vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, soya beans, bony fish, cereals.
For healthy bones and teeth, normal function of heart muscle, blood clotting mechanisms, conduction of nerve impulses, and muscle function. Calcium is also essential for proper relaxation of nerve tissue. Deficiencies can cause cramps, muscle tension and twitching, headaches, PMS, poor appetite, apathy, debility, tiredness, anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity, insomnia, and depression.
Chromium: Fruit, vegetables, meat, molasses, whole grains, wheatgerm, brewer's yeast, organic foods.
ital for fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of energy.
Cobalt: Brewer's yeast, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts.
A component of vitamin B12. Enhances copper absorption, and magnesium and sugar metabolism.
Copper: Green vegetables, liver, seafoods, whole grains.
For formation of myelin sheath around nerves, iron absorption, enzyme production, development of brain, bones, and (with B6) of connective tissues. Acts as an antioxidant. Essential for the function of vitamin C.
Iodine: Vegetables grown on iodine rich soil, fruits, seafoods, garlic, parsley, iodized salt.
Vital to the production of thyroid hormones which are responsible for regulating metabolism and physical and mental developments.
Iron: Egg yolk, liver, meat, molasses, soya beans, whole grains, green vegetables, fish, dried fruits, cocoa, wine.
Used in production of hemoglobin, vital for transport of oxygen in the blood. Important for the production of energy and for cellular respiration. Deficiency is linked to lethargy, tiredness, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, and poor concentration.
Magnesium: Green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, milk, milk products, eggs, seafoods, "hard" water.
For energy production, protein metabolism, the manufacture of enzymes, nerve and muscle function, and bone and teeth formation. Magnesium is also essential for proper relaxation of nerve tissue. Deficiencies can cause cramps, muscle tension and twitching, headaches, PMS, poor appetite, apathy, debility, tiredness, anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactivity, insomnia, and depression.
Manganese: Green vegetables, seeds, whole grains, pulses, brewer's yeast, eggs, fruits, tea.
Important for energy metabolism, healthy bones, thyroid function, and the function of both the nervous and reproductive systems.
Phosphorus: Whole grains, seeds, nuts, meat, fish, eggs.
Vital for healthy bone formation and for heart and kidney function. Important for nerve conduction and vitamin metabolism.
Potassium: Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soya beans, seafood.
For nerve conduction and muscle function, and to regulate the blood's acid-alkali balance and water balance. Deficiency can occur from excess losses of potassium in the urine, resulting from taking diuretics, or drinking too much tea, coffee or alcohol, or from diabetes. It is associated with lethargy, debility, depression, and mental apathy.
Selenium: Garlic, whole grains, eggs, meat, brewer's yeast.
Antioxidant, vital for normal functioning of the liver and connective tissue, and the formation of sex hormones.
Sodium: Most vegetables, salt.
Vital for the maintenance of fluid balance and blood pressure, and normal nerve and muscle function.
Zinc: Oysters, herrings, yeast, liver, eggs, beef, peas, seeds, fruit, vegetables, nuts, poultry, shellfish.
A component of about 90 enzymes. Vital for protein metabolism. Helps prevent free radical damage of the eyes, prostate gland, seminal fluid and sperm. For normal immune function and hormone production, and healthy bones and joints. Required for the release of vitamin A from liver stores.
Deficiency has been shown to be related to depression, irritability, mood swings, tearfulness, sullenness, as well as schizoid behaviour. Zinc requirements increase considerably during pregnancy and lactation, and deficiency at these times may well lead to postnatal depression, and hormonal problems after childbirth. Zinc is required for normal hormone balance. High copper levels - often found in women on the pill -upset zinc balance in the body, and have been associated with irritability, mood swings, and senile dementia.