Reducing Anxiety Levels with Vitamin B

reduce anxiety levels

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide.

While there are different treatment options available, including therapy and medication, some studies suggest that incorporating vitamin B into your diet can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of vitamin B in reducing anxiety levels and which foods you should add to your diet to increase your intake.

Understanding Anxiety Levels and Its Symptoms

Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear that can be experienced in different intensities.

Some people may feel anxious in specific situations, while others may have chronic anxiety that affects their daily lives.

Symptoms of anxiety can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and trouble sleeping.

While occasional anxiety levels is normal, chronic anxiety can be debilitating and require treatment.

Types of Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a group of water-soluble vitamins that play essential roles in many bodily functions, including metabolism, energy production, and nerve function.

There are eight B vitamins, each with unique properties and benefits. These include the following.

  • Vitamin B1: Thiamine
  • Vitamin B2: Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3: Niacin
  • Vitamin B5: Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B7: Biotin
  • Vitamin B9: Folate
  • Vitamin B12: Cobalamin

Benefits of Vitamin B in Reducing Anxiety levels

  • Studies have shown that some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, B9, and B12, can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
  • These vitamins are involved in the production of neurotransmitters, chemicals in the brain that regulate mood and behavior.
  • Vitamin B6, for example, is needed to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in promoting feelings of well-being and happiness.
  • Vitamin B12 and folate are essential for the synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that help regulate stress and anxiety.

Foods Rich in Vitamin B

Vitamin B1: Thiamine

Thiamine is essential for nerve function and energy metabolism. Good sources of thiamine include:

  • Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat)
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils, beans, peas)
  • Nuts and seeds (e.g., sunflower seeds, pistachios)

Vitamin B2: Riboflavin

Riboflavin plays a role in energy production and antioxidant activity. Good sources of riboflavin include:

  • Dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Leafy green vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale)
  • Whole grains (e.g., oats, rice, quinoa)

Vitamin B3: Niacin

Niacin is involved in energy metabolism and can help lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of niacin include the following.

  • Meat (e.g., chicken, beef, pork)
  • Fish (e.g., tuna, salmon)
  • Whole grains (e.g., barley, wheat)
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils, peanuts)

Vitamin B5: Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid is important for energy metabolism and the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol. Good sources of pantothenic acid include the following foods.

  • Meat (e.g., chicken, beef, pork)
  • Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, oats)
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils, chickpeas)
  • Dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese)

Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine

Pyridoxine is involved in the production of neurotransmitters and the synthesis of hemoglobin. Good sources of pyridoxine include the following foods.

  • Meat (e.g., chicken, turkey)
  • Fish (e.g., salmon, tuna)
  • Whole grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa)
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils, chickpeas)
  • Potatoes

Vitamin B7: Biotin

Biotin is important for energy metabolism and the health of the hair, skin, and nails. Good sources of biotin include:

  • Egg yolks
  • Organ meats (e.g., liver, kidney)
  • Nuts and seeds (e.g., almonds, peanuts)
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils, beans)

Vitamin B9: Folate

Folate is important for DNA synthesis and cell division. It is also essential for the proper development of the fetal nervous system during pregnancy. Good sources of folate include:

  • Leafy green vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale)
  • Legumes (e.g., lentils, beans)
  • Fortified cereals and bread
  • Citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, grapefruit)

Vitamin B12: Cobalamin

Cobalamin is important for nerve function and the production of red blood cells. Good sources of cobalamin include:

  • Meat (e.g., beef, pork, chicken)
  • Fish (e.g., salmon, tuna)
  • Dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Fortified cereals and plant-based milk alternatives

Incorporating Vitamin B-Rich Foods in Your Diet

Incorporating vitamin B-rich foods in your diet can help increase your intake of these essential nutrients and potentially reduce anxiety symptoms. Here are some examples of meals and snacks that are rich in vitamin B:


  • Oatmeal with almonds and berries (vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, biotin)
  • Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey (vitamin B2, B5, B6)


  • Grilled chicken or tofu salad with spinach, avocado, and quinoa (vitamin B2, B3, B6, B9)
  • Lentil soup with whole wheat bread (vitamin B1, B3, B6)


  • Peanut butter and apple slices (vitamin B1, B3, B7)
  • Hummus with carrots and bell peppers (vitamin B1, B6)


Incorporating vitamin B-rich foods into your dinner can be an easy and delicious way to increase your intake. Here are some dinner ideas to try.

  • Grilled salmon with a side of brown rice and steamed broccoli
  • Lentil soup with a whole wheat roll
  • Chicken stir-fry with brown rice and mixed vegetables
  • Chickpea curry with quinoa
  • Spinach and cheese omelet with a side of whole wheat toast

Frequently Asked Questions

Can taking vitamin B supplements help reduce anxiety?

While increasing your intake of vitamin B through food sources may be helpful for reducing anxiety symptoms, the evidence on the effectiveness of vitamin B supplements for anxiety is mixed. It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any supplements.

Can vitamin B deficiency cause anxiety?

Yes, a deficiency in certain types of vitamin B, such as vitamin B6 and B12, may lead to symptoms of anxiety. However, it’s important to note that anxiety is a complex condition and multiple factors can contribute to its development.

Can consuming too much vitamin B be harmful?

While it’s rare to consume too much vitamin B through food sources, taking high doses of vitamin B supplements can cause side effects such as digestive issues, skin rashes, and nerve damage.

Can vegan and vegetarian diets provide enough vitamin B?

Yes, with proper planning, vegan and vegetarian diets can provide adequate amounts of vitamin B. However, it’s important to ensure that you are getting enough of all the essential vitamins and minerals by incorporating a variety of foods into your diet.

How long does it take to see the effects of increasing vitamin B intake on anxiety?

The effects of increasing vitamin B intake on anxiety may vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. It may take several weeks to several months to see noticeable improvements in anxiety symptoms.

A Word from Healthy Lifestyle

Incorporating vitamin B-rich foods in your diet can potentially help reduce anxiety symptoms and improve overall mental health.

Vitamin B is involved in energy metabolism and the production of neurotransmitters, both of which are important for regulating mood and reducing anxiety.

Foods rich in vitamin B include whole grains, legumes, meat, fish, dairy products, and leafy green vegetables.

It’s important to note that while increasing your intake of vitamin B may be helpful for reducing anxiety levels, it should not replace professional treatment.

By Sonam Tobgay

I'm the creator of Healthy Lifestyle blog. I've been fascinated with health related articles and information since 2005 and have spent most of my waking hours consuming health contents from the top professionals in this field. My goal is to share the best tips and news about health, benefits of fruits and vegetables, and other health related issues so you can follow and lead a healthy life.

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