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Give us a C!
Vitamin C may help relieve stress.

What's your go-to for stress relief? Yoga, deep breathing, brisk walks, meditation…or all of the above? Keep it up — and consider adding some extra vitamin C to the mix. That's right, the vitamin known for keeping your immune system functioning well and protecting your body from cellular damage can also help you manage stress when the going gets tough.

When you're stressed, your adrenal glands pump out the stress hormone cortisol, and when you stay in "red alert" mode over time, the excess cortisol can seriously damage your health. Since vitamin C helps to regulate cortisol, getting extra C may help in times of stress. Taking extra C was shown to reduce cortisol levels in animals, and in a study on women, a slow-release vitamin C supplement reduced physical and mental symptoms of stress. Our favorite sources aren't in the supplement aisle, however — they're in the produce aisle. To get sufficient stress-busting C, be sure you have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (raw or lightly cooked) in your daily diet. Kiwi, papaya, citrus fruits, pineapple, berries, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and leafy greens are all fantastic sources. Keep in mind that in general, the fresher these foods are, the more C they'll contain.

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