Many factors can affect your mental health, such as your family history, health of your organs, access to education, and how much social support you have. These factors are important, but some research shows that there may be a factor that is often overlooked: the lack of nutrition in your diet. What is the connection between a poor diet and mental health, and how can you remedy it?
Connection Between Nutrition And Mental Health
There is still a lack of understanding of how nutrition affects mental health, but many studies suggest that what you eat is directly linked to our brain functioning. Many people opt to remedy their lack of nutrition by purchasing vitamins online, an excellent option because of its convenience. Still, you should first understand what vitamins you lack before making any purchase, as there are many nutrients that the brain needs to function correctly. B vitamins, for example, help you regulate moods and ensure that your neurotransmitters are working correctly so that you don’t feel anxious or depressed.
Furthermore, there are many vitamins and minerals that you can get by including certain foods in your diet. Healthy eating is vital to a healthy mind and body. It can be hard to remember that your brain needs food to function properly when you’re feeling the blues. The truth is that you do need to take care of your physical health to maintain mental stability.
How can a lack of nutrients result in mental health issues?
Low levels of nutrients can cause a person to experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue. You can treat these symptoms with traditional methods of therapy and medicine, but the root issue is the lack of nutrients. In order to function correctly, the brain requires a lot of energy. It consumes about 20% of all the oxygen you breathe and uses 25% of our body’s glucose supply for fuel. The brain relies heavily on a variety of vitamins and minerals to function efficiently. When there are not enough nutrients present, it affects our mental health, leading to mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, or depression. Specific diets may not be absorbing enough for the human brain’s needs for certain minerals such as iron or zinc, resulting in nutrient deficiencies that negatively affect the way your mind works. Moreover, When someone is in a good place mentally, they are more likely to make sustainable changes in their diet, positively affecting their mental state.
The Vitamins And Minerals You Need (And How To Get Them Naturally)
When it comes to mental health, there are some specific nutrients that your body must have to maintain a healthy mind.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
The brain requires thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, to function optimally. Thiamine is vital to the central nervous system and can help with neural plasticity and memory. The body can’t create thiamine on its own, so it’s essential that you get enough of it from your diet. Because alcohol reduces the absorption of thiamine, drinking is one of the leading causes of thiamine deficiency. Other causes include eating disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and pregnancy. The symptoms of low levels in the blood are fatigue, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, or confusion.
Where Can You Find Thiamine?
You can find Thiamin in most foods, so as long as you are earring enough of the following, you should be fine:
- Dried Milk.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
The brain requires folic acid to function correctly. Studies have shown that those who do not get enough folic acid are at a greater risk of chronic depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. As well as anemia, folic acid deficiency can lead to heart problems. Pregnant women must get enough folic acid so that their babies can develop properly.
Where Can You Find Folic Acid?
The Impact that folic acid has on mental health is significant, which is why it’s essential to take supplements with folic acid or eat foods rich in this nutrient like:
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s are correlated with magnesium deficiencies, according to research. A recent study found that a lack of magnesium can lead to cognitive impairments over time. Individuals with low magnesium levels showed signs of brain atrophy and even dementia. This study is one of the many that have examined the connection between magnesium and brain function. Additionally, magnesium also impacts a person’s moods, helps regulate blood sugar levels, keeps heart rhythm steady, and supports a healthy immune system.
Where Can You Find Magnesium?
- Dark chocolate.
Zinc is an important mineral that makes up part of our body’s immune system. It also plays a role in wound healing and DNA synthesis. The lack of zinc can cause many health issues, such as depression, seizures, poor cognition, and memory loss.
Where Can You Find Zinc?
- Red meat (especially beef).
- Nuts (especially almonds).
- Wheat germ.
Choline helps to store memories when you sleep; it’s also necessary for making the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a critical player in the formation of nerve impulses and acts as a neurotransmitter to communicate with muscles. Choline also helps with fat metabolism, good moods, muscle control, and memory retention. It is a natural compound that your body uses to make cell membranes. Your brain, liver, and other organs need choline to make acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter for your brain and help with memory function.
Where Can You Find Choline?
The electrical activity of the body is greatly influenced by potassium. It regulates the heartbeat, muscle contractions, and stomach movements. In addition, potassium maintains a healthy fluid balance around the brain, controls nerve impulses, and maintains normal levels of chemicals. Potassium deficiency can cause muscle pain, digestive problems, and irregular heartbeats.
Where Can You Find Potassium?
Mental health has a great deal to do with how you think, not how much stress you experience. With a change in diet, you can significantly impact the quality of your life. By getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your diet, you can experience better moods and increased cognitive abilities.