I work a high stress job and despite making efforts to reduce stress (exercise, meditation, adequate sleep) I am still usually stressed out. What are some important nutrients (foods, vitamins/minerals, supplements) I should eat/take? I'm not sure if being under stress causes you to deplete certain vitamins/minerals more than others or makes certain ratios to be out of whack, but thought somewhere here might have thoughts on it.
Vitamin C and magnesium usually come up a lot. I agree with Anonymous Chump on the B vitamins and maybe zinc. I'd also guess vitamin D is helpful, since it's related to hormone production and cortisol.
Some anecdotal experience: in high school I was only able to pull all-nighters by chomping vitamin C tablets all night. That and drinking loads of water. I'd be careful of depleting salts, though, so putting a pinch of salt in the water would help. So I guess add salt to the list, too.
I highly recommend the adaptogens Rhodiola and Ashwaganda. Get the standardized extracts to make sure you're really getting the good stuff. Add some Slo-Mag as well. That all helps you raise your sh*t tolerance substantially.
If you find neither of those work for you, your fallback position is Maca. The final line of defense is American ginseng, but some people find it overstimulating, so I recommend it as the last to try.
Then to ensure you stay calm and focused during those occasions when the monkeys actually let loose with the feces in your direction during a meeting, experiment with L-Theanine, 5HTP, and GABA. A little of these helps you stay calm, but too much can make you sleepy. Find your sweet spot.
If you're the kind of person for whom stress causes inflammation (hives) or fidgeting (snapping pencils in half, say), try adding some NAC and zinc. If stress causes anxiety, check out passionflower and inositol. If stress causes anxiety, which then causes sleeplessness, try adding some valerian plus some more mag at bedtime. If the stress makes you snappy and cranky (like you're taking stuff home that you should leave at work), check out taurine to stabilize your mood. If your mood is really unstable (like you come home and scream at your girlfriend), try increasing your Omega-3 fish oil dose to 4K mg for 2 weeks.
Everyone should be taking Vit D3, and fish oil anyway, so I won't spend any more time on those.
I second D anb B vitamins, zinc, calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is important for nerve function and calcium helps its absorption. And adequate sleep to let the body and mind relax from the stressed state is crucial too. For me, yoga and exercise with weights (body weight and kettlebell done at home) have helped with managing stress levels too. Good luck.
I know you won't like my answer but ... please at least think about it. Change your job. No amount of money in the world worth it. Have you ever read the book "Why Zebraz don't get ulcers"? You are heading for health issues. Your body can only take so much stress, and then it starts to fall apart.
I recommend adequate sleep and adaptogens.
I use AOR's Ortho Adapt, it really helps me deal with my stress. Sometimes too much.
Maybe someone else here can comment on nutrient depletion but I have heard that somewhere before.
Okay, maybe not. The vitamins recommended already are good. I'd be sure to eat enough foods with calcium, which is a natural tranquilizer in many ways, as well as vit. C and magnesium, so you can use it.
Eating Alaskan halibut and salmon should help, too.
It looks like you got a lot of really good suggestions, especially the higher rated posts. :)
I have a suggestion that's not quite food related... lavender. I also deal with high stress and along with eating mostly paleo and low-carb, I've also started added pure lavender oil to most of my beauty products, and also adding a few drops to all of my laundry. The relaxing and stress-reducing products of the lavender has been aiding me with my stress reduction a lot. :)
Thought I might suggest some aroma-therapy. Hope you find out what works for you~