Supplements And Nutrients That May Decrease Symptoms Of Anxiety

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated April 18, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Psychotherapy—sometimes in combination with medication—is usually the recommended treatment for anxiety disorders, from panic disorder to generalized anxiety disorder to separation anxiety disorder. However, a wealth of research supports the idea that various healthy lifestyle changes may also help improve symptoms. Getting adequate amounts of certain vitamins, whether through eating patterns or dietary supplements, may be one. See below for a list of vitamin and nutrient supplements for anxiety symptoms and stress-related symptoms. 

Note that taking supplements or making other lifestyle changes is not considered a substitute for professional treatment if you’re experiencing signs of a mental health disorder. You should also consult your doctor and/or a qualified nutritionist before you make significant changes to your eating patterns or take any supplements. Speak to a medical professional before making any changes to existing prescribed medication regimens as well.

There are multiple ways to treat anxiety
Nutrients and vitamins that help with anxiety and mental health
A study on micronutrient inadequacies in the eating habits of US adults found that many are not reaching micronutrient and amino acid intake requirements from food alone, “presumably due to eating an energy-rich, nutrient-poor diet.”
Some of these required nutrients can help with symptoms of anxiety and other health issues when consumed in adequate amounts, either through animal and plant foods or supplements. These nutrients and vitamins that can help with anxiety—both mental and physical symptoms—include the following.
Vitamin C
Some research suggests that taking vitamin C supplements may improve mood and lessen anxiety and depression symptoms. You can increase your vitamin C levels to reduce anxiety by boosting your intake of fruit. Some foods rich in vitamin C include cantaloupe, citrus fruits, kiwi, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and watermelon. 
Various B vitamins
Getting enough B vitamins may also support anxiety relief. Examples of B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), which may control blood sugar, B3 (niacinamide), which is responsible for serotonin synthesis, and vitamin B6, which supports brain and immune functioning. B vitamins also contribute to energy levels and support with mood control. These vitamins can be found in meat, dairy, eggs, seafood, whole grains, bananas, chilies, legumes, and nutritional yeast.
Vitamin D
This vitamin may help lower blood pressure and decrease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. It may also improve muscle function and boost immune system functioning because it supports the release of certain neurotransmitters. Several studies have uncovered a link between low levels of vitamin D and various mental health disorders. For instance, one study suggests that low vitamin D levels may be linked to various anxiety disorders, and others link the deficiency to conditions like seasonal affective disorder and schizophrenia as well. 


Magnesium is essential for brain health and for maintaining a healthy nervous system overall. It can help create a sense of calm and relaxation by activating GABA receptors, which are the same receptors that many anti-anxiety medications target. A review of studies on the topic suggests that magnesium supplements may benefit those who experience subjective anxiety, with the potential ability to reduce or alleviate symptoms in some cases. It may also help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, which can include anxiety. This nutrient can be found in foods like beef, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, bananas, watermelon, figs, potatoes, and green beans or in magnesium supplements.


The nutrients in chamomile, a flower often found in teas and herbal supplements, have been connected to a reduction in symptoms of some mental health conditions like anxiety as well. The findings of one study, for example, suggest that individuals with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile daily for eight weeks experienced a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed may also promote relaxation and better sleep, which could help in reducing anxiety as well.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, which include eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have anti-inflammatory properties that may help ease both anxiety and depression symptoms. The findings of a meta-analysis on the topic suggest that individuals who have sufficient intake of omega-3s may experience a significant reduction in both inflammation and anxiety levels. Some foods rich in omega-3s include mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, herring, oysters, sardines, anchovies, caviar, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and natural supplements.


Zinc is another essential mineral that may affect nervous system and brain function—specifically the release of neurotransmitters that may affect mood. Studies have uncovered a potential link between zinc deficiency and anxiety and depression symptoms as well as the potential for reduced symptoms of both with zinc supplementation. Some natural sources of zinc that may help reduce anxiety symptoms include mushrooms, spinach, cashews, pumpkin seeds, beef, beans, and grains.
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There are multiple ways to treat anxiety

Treatment methods for generalized anxiety disorder and others

Again, changes in eating patterns are not considered to be a replacement for professional treatment for any mental health condition. If you’re experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, it’s generally recommended that you consult with a qualified mental health professional. They can recommend strategies to help you manage anxiety symptoms, which may include things like psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and cognitive restructuring techniques.

Psychotherapy is one of the most commonly recommended forms of treatment to support an individual in addressing and managing anxiety. In many cases, it can be effectively delivered either in person or virtually. Those who are looking for a more cost-effective treatment option may prefer online therapy, since it’s often more convenient and more affordable than traditional in-person care. 

Using an online therapy platform like BetterHelp, you can attend virtual sessions via phone or video call for a cost that’s comparable to most insurance co-pays. A review of studies on the topic suggests that online therapy may be effective for treating anxiety in particular, indicating that it created “equivalent overall effects” to in-person treatment.


If you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition like an anxiety disorder, it’s generally recommended that you consult a mental health professional for treatment advice. In addition, the regular intake of certain vitamins and nutrients—such as B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium—may help reduce stress and improve anxiety symptoms.
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