Nutrients play a vital role in not only your physical health but also in mental health and harmony. Like all the other organs in your body, your brain needs nutrients for better functioning. The absence of some nutrients can lead to depression and anxiety. Folate, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and Vitamin D are just some of the many nutrients we need to stay happy. Hence, an examination of the levels of these nutrients in the body is a good way for health professionals to pinpoint the problem.1
Nutrients Important For Your Brain
1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Cause Depression
Vitamin B12 levels are constantly monitored in people with mood disorders to determine if their problem has a nutritional basis. In women who have just given birth, low vitamin B12 levels are one reason for developing postpartum depression.
A balanced diet that can treat these deficiencies can comprise animal products like poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products that are natural sources of vitamin B12 and dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and lentils that are good sources rich in folate.2
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiencies Can Cause Depression
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health. These acids are found abundantly in seafood, leafy vegetables, nuts like walnuts, and flaxseeds. Individuals who consumed seafood as part of their menu are found to be less prone to depression and mood disorders. Take a handful of walnuts each day as a snack in between meals for your brain health.3
3. Iron, Zinc, And Selenium Deficiency Can Cause Depression
Nutrients like iron, zinc, and selenium play a vital role in ensuring the physical and mental development of children. These nutrients also help in improving the function of the immune system and the thyroid gland, and an underachieving thyroid is closely linked with mood disorders.
They are available in abundance in natural sources like green leafy vegetables and fruits. This is also one of the reasons why you should have a plate of vegetables and fruits in a wide variety of colors for a more balanced diet. If you are low on energy and finding it difficult to cope up with even the simplest of tasks each day, get your levels of iron, zinc, and selenium evaluated immediately. 4
4. Vitamin D Deficiency Can Cause Depression
An interesting study reveals that people in colder places with less sunlight are more prone to depression and mood swings. Depression and suicidal thoughts have been attributed to the lack of sunlight, and therefore vitamin D production, in these areas. A daily dose of sunlight can do wonders to your body health as a whole. Vitamin D, an important vitamin for mental health, is synthesized in the body when we are exposed to sunlight. It is also present in traces in other natural sources like fish, dairy products, and eggs. Wear a hat, forget the tan, and just bask in the glory of the sun for half an hour each day to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.5
5. Other Micro-Mineral Deficiencies Can Cause Depression
You will be amazed to know that the minerals we don’t know much about are the ones that impact the balance of our mood. Minerals like chromium and magnesium determine the daily energy levels and balance the mood. According to studies, children show considerable improvement in mood and behavior when their diets were supplemented with a multi-mineral and vitamin supplement.6 And these minerals are found in plenty in foods like milk, banana, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables, and legumes.
A balanced diet, physical activity, and a walk in the sun are just enough to give your body the resources it needs to stay healthy and happy.
|↑1||Rao, TS Sathyanarayana, M. R. Asha, B. N. Ramesh, and KS Jagannatha Rao. “Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses.” Indian journal of psychiatry 50, no. 2 (2008): 77.|
|↑2||Coppen, Alec, and Christina Bolander-Gouaille. “Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12.” Journal of Psychopharmacology19, no. 1 (2005): 59-65.|
|↑3||Logan, Alan C. “Omega-3 fatty acids and depression.” Positive Health 67 (2006): 24-29.|
|↑4||Singh, Meharban. “Role of micronutrients for physical growth and mental development.” Indian journal of pediatrics 71, no. 1 (2004): 59-62.|
|↑5||COGNOME, NOME. “Vitamin D and depression.”|
|↑6||Kaplan, Bonnie J., Susan G. Crawford, Beryl Gardner, and Geraldine Farrelly. “Treatment of mood lability and explosive rage with minerals and vitamins: Two case studies in children.” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 12, no. 3 (2002): 205-219.|