Stress – part 2

February 7, 2013

It’s time for part 2 of our stress series, which this week focuses on B vitamins and their role in keeping stress at bay..

B vitamins play a critical role in our bodies. They are in some way responsible for pretty much every reaction that takes place inside of us. They are water-soluble, which means our bodies cannot store them (apart from B12, which can store for up to 5 years) and therefore they must be replenished daily. B vitamins, or the ‘B complex’ as they’re known, work together in synergy. They are dependent upon each other, so always supplement with the entire complex, adding in the specific additional one you require. For example, if taking B6, take B6 and a B complex together.

B vitamins play an important role in our cognitive function, and our feelings of wellbeing and calm. They are often the first port of call for anxiety, fatigue and stress. They are critical to the health of our nervous system, which explains our feeling ‘nervy’ or ‘frazzled’ when stressed (and in need of B’s!) – no coincidences there! When stressed, we tend to struggle for energy too. Just like magnesium from last weeks blog, B’s play a vital role in the body’s energy production. Without a sufficient supply, you won’t be able to create a sufficient supply of energy to fuel your body. Generally you’ll end up feeling fatigued and lethargic – and stressed! It’s all starting to tie together now isn’t it?!!

There are plenty of great supplemental products on the market these days. Sublingual – or ‘spray’ – forms are a lot easier to absorb than tablets (remembering that stress negatively affects our digestion, making tablets harder to digest at those times). Most of the sublingual forms I know of are ‘practitioner only’ brands, meaning you’d only get them from shops or clinics where qualified practitioners work – like Saltuary! Good health food shops should also stock these.

It’s always important to focus on food sources of nutrients first, by eating a nutrient dense, natural diet. Foods rich in B vitamins include eggs (please ensure they are free range…and organic if possible), nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc), sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, salmon and more. Eating a wide variety of natural foods should give you a very good mix of all the different B’s. Always consider allergies if this is an issue for you.

I once complained to a very wise naturopath I knew, of having constantly sore soles of my feet. She sent me home with a shopping list containing 3 simple words ‘savoury yeast flakes’. I’d never heard of them but off I trotted to find them and I haven’t looked back since. Apparently sore soles are an indicator that your body would like some more B’s! There can of course be many other reasons for sore soles.. this is just one.

Brewers yeast, and my now beloved savoury yeast flakes, are abundant sources of B vitamins. They are not for everyone, but can be used in a variety of ways. I stir savoury yeast flakes (available from good health food stores) into a little apple or pear juice and drink. I’ve heard others cook with it for vege versions of things like cheese sauce!

That’s it for this week.. hopefully it’s been of interest to you. Next week we’ll focus on a few physical therapies you can undertake to help in times of stress..

Have a wonderful week everyone..

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