Feeling Stressed?!

by Heather Ferber on July 22, 2011

It’s summer vacation!  Hope you are enjoying a slow paced, easy going, uneventful few months of fun in the sun. HA! Not sure that’s exactly how I would describe my summer vacation home with two-almost-six-year-olds and an almost-four-year-old. Somewhat stressful is probably a better description of my summer “vacation.”

As I observe family and friends around me this summer, I sense that there are others who encounter a little bit of stress from their children, spouses, relationships, work, money, time, and traffic to name a few.  Regardless of the sources of stress, the body responds in the same manner.  It tenses in reaction to stress.  With nerves running throughout your entire body (through all your major organs, your brain, your extremities), if you are constantly tense, you are causing damage to your entire body.  If you experience extended periods of stress your muscles, organs and brain all become tired. This affects energy levels and can induce fatigue.  Who wants to feel tired?!  Too much summer fun to be had right now.

B vitamins have been shown to have a positive effect on the nervous system as well as the brain’s nerve messengers which may help to minimize the effects of stress.  By balancing your nervous system, your entire body may function better with less fatigue; therefore, you may actually experience a feeling of increased energy! YEAH!

If you feel you don’t get enough B vitamins in your diet, you may wish to consider a Vitamin B supplement.  You can find the B vitamins in whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, and beans to name a few. Here’s a very brief breakdown of the B vitamins and the key roles they play:

B1 (Thiamin) – essential for normal nervous system & heart muscle function                      B2 (Riboflavin) – essential for good vision, skin, nails, & hair                                                     B3 (Niacin) – improves circulation & maintains nervous system                                               B5 (Pantothenic Acid) – key to utilization of vitamins & development of CNS                         B6 (Pyridoxine) – maintains CNS & promotes healthy skin                                                       B7 (Biotin) – helps utilization of folic acid, B5 and B12                                                                  B9 (Folic Acid) – needed for DNA & RNA synthesis which grows healthy body cells          B12 (Cobalamin) – helps maintain a healthy nervous system

B1 (Thiamin) is one of the most vital nutrients for our nerves. Interestingly, there are many substances that deplete B1 including alcohol and caffeine.  There are also medications that can deplete a variety of the B vitamins including anti-inflamatory agents, antibiotics, birth control pills, cholesterol lowering agents, and ulcer meds.

The bottom is that we all have a lot of stress in our lives.  We need to be educated how to reduce our stresses and keep our bodies healthy.  Don’t forget about your B vitamins!

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