Stress-Supporting Nutrients

26 Sep 2018, 18:15PM

It can be hard to care much about your nutrient intake when you’re in a period of mental anguish or stress. But the right combination of nutrients can help alleviate your stress and support you on your journey to mental wellbeing.  

During times of stress, we often see that there will be a deficit of some key nutrients. These are four common nutrient deficiencies that can present themselves during stressful times.  


Fresh, unprocessed food is even more important during times of stress

Magnesium is an extremely important nutrient for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, and a deficiency of Magnesium is all too common in the modern-day diet. 

Magnesium takes as a cofactor in a number of important functions pertaining directly to mental wellbeing, including reducing stress hormones, increasing the major inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, removing heavy metals and increasing brain plasticity, among others.  

To add more Magnesium to your diet, try including more green leafy vegetables, legumes, seafood and some fruits (including avocado!).  


Similar to Magnesium, Zinc can help stimulate GABA within the brain, helping to regulate mood states. Additionally, there are a number of enzymes, containing Zinc, that are responsible for the synthesis of serotonin.  

Zinc is required for hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including the metabolism of nutrients and the maintenance of your immune system.  

Red meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, eggs, whole grains and dark chocolate will all add Zinc to your diet.  

It’s important to note though, that it is possible to have a Zinc excess, so make sure you consult your practitioner before taking any Zinc supplements.  

B Vitamins 

B vitamins are depleted during times of stress.  Low levels of B vitamins can lead to fatigue as they are vital for the body’s energy cycles; it can lead to neurotransmitter imbalances as they are required as cofactors for synthesis and function.  Neurotransmitters are involved in many functions of the body including mood and behaviour. 

Vitamin C Oranges are renowned for their Vitamin C content

The adrenal glands which produce stress hormones contain the largest amount of Vitamin C in the body, and when your body is under stress, there is a loss of Vitamin C as part of the stress response.  At these times, increasing your ingestion of Vitamin C can nourish the adrenal glands.