5 Vital Nutrients Depleted by Stress

Nutrients Depleted by Stress

Stress has a profoundly negative effect on the body’s nutrient stores, which is why we often feel depleted and lacking in energy during these times. As well as rapidly using up essential nutrients as part of the body’s stress response, stress can also prevent the body from absorbing essential nutrients. It is therefore more important than ever to properly nurture the body and provide it with nutritious foods during stressful periods in order to protect health and build resilience. 

Increasing intakes of the following key nutrients can help to protect against the adverse effects of stress: 

1. Magnesium – Stress depletes magnesium however magnesium is needed for a healthy stress response to help us deal with stress, increasing magnesium intakes is therefore essential during times of stress. 

2. Vitamin C – An essential immune-supporting nutrient, which is found in high amounts in the adrenal glands and is released in response to stress. Humans, unlike other mammals, are unable to synthesise this important vitamin so intakes should be increased in stressful periods. 

3. Vitamin B5 – An important nutrient co-factor required for energy production and as part of the stress response so the body’s requirements are higher as stress levels increase to ensure the adrenal glands have sufficient energy to produce stress hormones. 

4. Vitamin B6 – Another important nutrient co-factor involved in numerous biochemical pathways in the body, including the modulation of adrenal gland activity and the stress response, and since stress also depletes vitamin B6, higher intakes are required when stressed.

5. Zinc – A commonly deficient mineral, which plays an important role in supporting the immune system and modulating the body’s stress response, and since it is also rapidly used up during times of stress increased intakes are recommended.

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Article by Laura Thompson

Laura really values the importance of keeping up to date with new scientific developments, and has particular interests in digestive health, mood imbalances and women’s health.