Proper nutrition can help promote better health. Health and wellness are not only translated as optimal physical health but also sound mental health. Sound mental health can be achieved if the body is provided with the right amounts of vitamins. It is also crucial for the body to absorb the vitamins, minerals, and other essential molecules that are necessary as building blocks for the brain.
New York-based psychiatrist, Dr. Jennifer Kraker, noted that nutritional deficiencies could lead to imbalanced biochemistry that can eventually affect mental health. While some people can address the nutritional deficiency by eating the right kinds of foods, others may need the help of doctors to prescribe them with the right combination of supplements. Now it is vital to take note that supplementation does not mean just getting a pill of supplements. Different individuals are unique; therefore, they require different kinds of nutrients.
Nutritional deficiencies are linked to mental health problems. Varying deficiencies can result in mild to disruptive symptoms of psychological issues. Severe nutritional deficiencies can cause anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Licensed psychologist, Nicole Beurkens, noted that mild nutritional deficiencies can still reduce the ability of individuals to manage stress, lower mood, and cause poor concentration as well as focus. While nutrients are essential to the mental health of individuals, some nutrients have already been proven to play the most critical role in achieving optimal mental health.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can help regulate the mood as well as give better sleep. It has also been shown to protect and promote the synthesis of neurons. Vitamin D regulates genes that make feel-good chemicals such as oxytocin and serotonin. Studies have shown that deficiency of Vitamin D results in depression, anxiety, fatigue, and irritability.
Vitamin B12 and B6 are essential in maintaining good mental health. Both B12 and B6 keeps the levels of homocysteine in check. It is also vital in regulating mood chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Deficiencies of B vitamins include brain fog, fatigue, tingling, numbness, and shortness of breath.
Magnesium can help the body regulate stress. It is considered as a mood stabilizer.
Although it is uncommon for people to experience Magnesium deficiency, those who do may experience nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and mood changes.
Zinc is vital for the brain to function correctly as it helps the body make chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. The deficiency of this nutrient is often higher among breastfeeding or pregnant women, vegetarians, and people suffering from gastrointestinal problems.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
The omega-3 fatty acid is comprised of DHA and EPA that play essential roles in the proper functioning of the brain. It can prevent inflammation and improve communication between neurons. Lack of Omega-3 fatty acids can cause mood issues, allergies, fatigue, and dry skin.
So how do you know if you have deficiencies? Physical signs can give you a clue about what is happening to your body. These include constipation, headaches, diarrhea, bloating, weak nails, dry skin, hair loss, and others.
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