“Few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression while they easily understand the connection between nutritional deficiencies and physical illness. Depression is more typically thought of as strictly biochemical-based or emotionally-rooted. On the contrary, nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression. Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods. Nutritional neuroscience is an emerging discipline shedding light on the fact that nutritional factors are intertwined with human cognition, behavior, and emotions.
The most common mental disorders that are currently prevalent in numerous countries are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The dietary intake pattern of the general population in many Asian and American countries reflects that they are often deficient in many nutrients, especially essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. A notable feature of the diets of patients suffering from mental disorders is the severity of deficiency in these nutrients. Studies have indicated that daily supplements of vital nutrients are often effective in reducing patients’ symptoms. (Click the text to read the study that this was taken from!)
6 Supplements to Help Combat Mental Illness
It surprises most that 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. Nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness and personality changes are all symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. When untreated it can lead to seizures, heart complications, numbness and tingling. Take magnesium at night to help with sleep problems and muscle relaxation. You may consume magnesium rich foods, supplement or apply topically. Magnesium baths are a great way to add magnesium to your self-care routine as well! I personally have a magnesium oil that I just apply to my skin in highly absorbent areas and rub in daily.
Folate and B12 work together for the synthesis of our neurotransmitters – chemicals that facilitate communication between nerve cells, helping to regulate things like mood and sleep. Very often, depressed patients suffer from folate deficiencies. Deficiencies in folate manifest as symptoms of depression, anemia and fatigue, it can also cause cardiovascular and neurological disease.
3. Irish Seamoss
Sea Moss contains high amounts of potassium, a nutrient vital for the function of human body cells, its consumption may improve overall cognitive function and behavior. Potassium-rich foods are often recommended in treating anxiety and depression. Sea moss being rich in many minerals (including every one that is listed here if you’re looking for 1 way to have it all!) that our bodies not only require, but are deficient in is the reason that sea moss is such a huge super-food! Often known for curing, eliminating mucous which causes disease and increasing energy significantly, try this super-food in smoothies, foods or straight for a boost and mental clarity.
4. Vitamin D
Estimates say that 50% of the population is deficient in vitamin D especially following new diet trends that lack dairy. Furthermore, 76% of Black Americans are deficient according to The Cooper Institute. This is unfortunate as this is a key nutrient for the nervous and immune systems. Low levels of vitamin D are linked directly to depression.
5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Try fish oil, krill oil or Irish moss! Also, look for ones that include EPA and DHA, which help to reduce inflammation, vital for health in general and disease prevention. Omega-3s travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. DHA is great for brain function and health.
Protect and heal your gut! Our gut health is linked to 80% of our health, it affects everything down to our brains. Many issues begin at the gut. By correcting microorganisms in our intestinal tract many patients have been able to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Probiotics are a necessity for our health and everyone should be making sure to get plenty whether it be through diet or supplementing.