Vitamin C for Managing Stress
Vitamin C has been one of the most sought after and widely-known nutritional supplements for many years. Its absolute necessity for preventing conditions such as scurvy and its proven efficacy in overcoming infection, colds and flu are well documented. It even became controversial when some experts revealed study results claiming that vitamin C in sufficient dosage can prevent heart diseases and cancer. However, the benefits of vitamin C don’t end there.
Researchers have added another reason why people should consider taking vitamin C supplements. This vitamin is being touted as a very effective supplement for alleviating the symptoms of stress and perhaps should be included as part of your stress management plan.
Vitamin C is an Effective Stress Buster
Studies show that those people who had been regularly taking vitamin C supplements and have been eating vitamin C rich foods were found to exhibit far less of the physical and mental signs of stress than those who had low levels of Vitamin C.
One study conducted by German researchers showed that those individuals who were regularly given 1,000 mg of vitamin C had lower levels of measured stress hormones even after being subjected to highly-stressful events such as public-speaking and mathematical calculations.
However, those people who were not given Vitamin C supplementation, experienced increased blood pressure after undergoing the same events.
From these findings, it has been suggested that taking vitamin C supplements are beneficial against the debilitating effects of stress.
Vitamin C Improves the Immune System
Another study showed that Vitamin C can help prevent the overproduction of stress hormones in the body. Excessive production of stress hormones in the body contributes to suppression of the immune system. Therefore, a regular intake of vitamin C can lead to improved immune system functionality, as well as reduced susceptibility to many illnesses which are brought about or made worse by too much stress.
This theory was proven when researchers studied marathon runners. Those who regularly took vitamin C were found to be less vulnerable to the common cold and other respiratory illnesses compared to those marathon athletes who ignored this supplement.
Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very sensitive to air, temperature and water. Steaming, boiling or blanching a vegetable may result in the loss of vitamin C by as much as 25%. Loss may also occur when a vitamin C-rich food undergoes thawing and freezing.
When a vegetable or fruit is cooked for 10-20 minutes, only half of its vitamin C content remains.
Eating fruits and vegetables while they are still raw and fresh is the best way to maximize your vitamin C intake. The following are some of the fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of vitamin C:
” Bell peppers, hot and green chili peppers
” Mustard greens, kale, cauliflower, broccoli
” Papaya, kiwi, orange, strawberries, tangerines.
Vitamin C is best obtained through eating fresh fruits and vegetables. However, taking vitamin C supplements may also be helpful especially to people who are living in places where fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce or seasonal.
There is no one single magic bullet to prevent or relieve stress. Sufferers need to review all aspects of their life including diet. Using vitamin C in conjunction with other natural stress reduction techniques will help build resilience in mind and body to better cope with your stress.