Stress. It’s something that all of us experience, regardless of job, geographic location or family situation. Stress is the body’s response to environmental stimuli (stressors). It’s natural and healthy to a degree; stress can motivate us and move us forward in life. Too much stress and an inability to manage it, however, can have dramatic health consequences for an individual. Nutrition can play a big part in how we cope and perform under stress.
B vitamins are coenzymes involved in numerous bodily functions in human health: the nervous system, brain function and the production of energy through the metabolization of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are essential to life and a deficiency of B vitamins can manifest itself as such symptoms as low energy, poor mental functioning or inability to deal with stress and anxiety.
The key to the B vitamins is that they work together – synergistically – in their functioning within the body. It is true that certain B vitamins may be needed in higher amounts for a specific condition – like Vitamin B12 for specific cases of pernicious anemia or a specific B12 deficiency – but individual B vitamins still require the rest of the B family to perform their roles. Often a deficiency in one B vitamin can be an indication of a deficiency in others.
For individuals who are experiencing low or normal levels of stress, a multi-vitamin containing basic levels of B vitamins, in the range of 5-25 mg/mcg of each, may be sufficient for daily needs. For those experiencing above-normal levels of stress, a “B-50” complex containing 50 mg/mcg per individual B can be helpful. And for those experiencing high levels of stress to the mind and body needing even more support, a “B-100” complex with 100 mg/mcg per B vitamin may be necessary, at least for the specific time period of excessive stress or anxiety. This group of highly stressed individuals can include athletes, office workers, and women experiencing menopause.
While additional B vitamins can be helpful to individuals undergoing stress, a traditional Peruvian food source can give further support. Maca root has been harvested and used in Peru as a nutritional food and natural medicine for thousands of years. Today, in the world of natural medicine it has become known as a “super food” for its wide range of health applications.
• Maca root is rich in a multitude of vitamins and minerals including B complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, iodine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. It is a true “super food.”
• Maca root is an adaptogen. It helps the body to perform normally during stressful conditions by balancing the body’s hormonal production. Hormones that are too low get regulated upward by maca root and hormones that are too high get regulated downward. Maca root nourishes the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. This balancing helps women to deal with PMS, menopause and hot flashes and men to deal with libido issues.
By combining high-levels of B vitamins together with the super food maca root, even the most stressed of us can find it easier to get on with our daily lives.