Mental and physical health can be promoted with a nutritious, healthy diet. Often times, low levels of essential nutrients can make you feel low and have been linked to depression, irritability, and anxiety. “Understand the signs of nutritional deficiencies. Mood disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, such as psychological, biological, genetic, environmental, and circumstances. Diet imbalance happens to be the most neglected biological factor in mood swings / disorders. Very few people emphasize the link between diet and depression, while most of them easily understand the link between nutritional deficiencies and physical health. The lack of vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients can impair optimal brain function and increase irritability, fatigue and depression, “says Eshanka Wahi. Culinary Nutrition Coach.
While deficiencies are unique to everyone, below are 7 nutrient inclusions Eshanka recommends for promoting mental and physical health. If your diet doesn’t include nutritious foods, she recommends taking additional supplements for the ones listed below:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D regulates the production of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine and plays an important role in the hormonal balance. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to the presence of an active mood disorder. Mild Alzheimer’s disease, altered sleep patterns and mood problems, and fatigue are common illnesses. To make one’s diet high in vitamin D, natural sources such as eggs, oily fish, and mushrooms, and fortified foods such as milk, flour, rice, cheese, and oats should be consumed.
2. Vitamin B (B1, B6, B7, B12, B complex)
People with vitamin B deficiency suffer from depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Folate is at the forefront of mood management. People struggling with depression have lower levels of folate in their blood. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and other legumes, as well as citrus fruits.
The magnesium level correlates negatively with the occurrence of depression. It is known that magnesium deficiency increases the occurrence of many psychological syndromes such as agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, asthenia, insomnia, headaches, delirium, hallucinations and hyperexcitability. Therefore, foods rich in magnesium such as pumpkin seeds, almonds and peanuts must be included in the daily diet
Iron helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body, and iron deficiency can lead to poor concentration, decreased cognition (attention span, intelligence, and sensory functions), anxiety, irritability, and depression. The persistent iron deficiency can also lead to headaches and shortness of breath. Because of this, choosing the right combination of foods is key. For example, if you consume a Palak Paneer and think it gives enough iron, then you are wrong. The calcium in paneer limits the absorption of iron in spinach when consumed in combination. Instead, combine iron-rich sources with vitamin C. For example, combining foods to increase nutrient intake includes spinach with lemon juice. Consume iron capsule with lemon water to increase nutrient absorption.
The lower the selenium level in the food, the more frequently reports of anxiety, depression and fatigue are. Higher selenium levels are directly linked to lower depressive symptoms. The best food source for selenium is Brazil nuts
6. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to brain function, especially memory and mood. If your diet is low in high quality fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, your body can only make poor quality nerve cell membranes. Oily fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, as are fish like cod and cod liver oil. These healthy fats are also found in flax seeds and walnuts. Additional omega-3 fish oil supplements are recommended.
Zinc, another essential mineral that regulates the brain and body’s response to stress. It is in the brain that zinc is found in the highest concentration in our body, which it is of central importance for healthy brain function. Not only is it responsible for activating your central and peripheral nervous system, but it is also needed for neurotransmitters, enzymatic and hormonal processes. Zinc deficiency leads to anxiety, schizophrenia, and eating disorders. Rich sources of zinc include meat, poultry, oysters, spinach, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and dark chocolate.