5 Important Nutrients For Your Mental Health

5 Important Nutrients For Your Mental Health

5 Important Nutrients For Your Mental Health : We place a lot of importance on eating right for your physical health, but did you know that getting enough nutrients plays a role in maintaining your mental health as well?

Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety stem from neurochemical imbalances that can be incredibly disruptive to your daily life. While there are several factors at play that could lead to depression and anxiety, getting enough nutrients from your diet could be key in maintaining your brain health.

Even if you eat right, it can be hard to detect nutrition deficiencies, which is why it’s so important to get blood tests if you suspect that your nutrition balance is off. You can either get these done at a doctor’s office or use an at-home hormone test like Base.

use an at-home hormone test like Base.
use an at-home hormone test like Base.

Here are 5 essential nutrients you may want to track that can help in the fight against depression and mood disorders.

  1. Protein

    Depression is often found to be linked to a lack of serotonin, a “feel-good” neurochemical responsible for mood regulation. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid you can get from protein sources, is the precursor of serotonin, and a lack of tryptophan may be linked to lowered serotonin levels.

    You can find tryptophan in both animal- and plant-based proteins. Some tryptophan-rich foods include:

    • Poultry
    • Milk
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Milk
    • Some fruits
      As an added bonus, animal-based protein sources are also often rich in B-vitamins that can also have a positive effect on your mood regulation.
  2. Vitamins

    A vitamin deficiency can negatively impact many aspects of your health, including brain health, and you may not even be aware that you’re deficient without taking a blood test. Vitamin B and D are two of the most common nutrient deficiencies that could be related to mood disorders.

    B vitamins, including B6, B12, and folic acid, are important for your brain health, and studies suggest that deficiencies may be linked to depression. You can get your B vitamins from animal sources like meat, as well as plant-based sources like leafy greens and legumes.

    Vitamin D is another essential nutrient that has been associated with mood disorders. Sunshine is the best source for Vitamin D, but deficiencies are relatively common since it’s not found naturally in many foods.

    You can, however, get Vitamin D naturally in your diet, from foods including:

    • Fatty fish
    • Eggs
    • Mushrooms
      There are also many common foods that are Vitamin D-fortified, including milk, soy milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals.
  3. Minerals

    Minerals are often further down on the list in many peoples’ nutrition priorities, but these essential nutrients are just as important as vitamins and macronutrients. These inorganic molecules play a variety of roles in your body, from maintaining brain health to making hormones.

    Some mineral deficiencies that have been associated with depression, low energy, and other mood disorders include:

    • Iron
    • Iodine
    • Zinc
    • Chromium
      The best way to ensure that you’re getting enough minerals is to eat a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates.
  4. Healthy Fats

    Your brain is largely made up of fat, especially the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and depression and other mood disorders have often been associated with omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies.

    Fatty fish like salmon are the best dietary sources for getting DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), another essential omega-3. You can also get another omega-3, ALA, from plant sources like flaxseeds and chia seeds.

  5. Probiotics

    Surprisingly, bacteria populating your gut also play a huge role in producing neurochemicals associated with mood boosts. This collection of bacteria in your large intestine can help produce serotonin, a “feel-good” hormone that can alleviate symptoms of depression.

    The population of your gut microbiome comes from a mixture of genetics and lifestyle factors. Adding probiotics into your diet from yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut can introduce more of the healthy bacteria that can help give you a mood boost.

Nutrient deficiencies may not be the only factor that contributes to mood disorders, but they can play a major role in maintaining your normal brain function. In addition to speaking with a healthcare provider, make sure that you are eating a balanced diet to give yourself all the nutrients you need to boost your brain health.




Erica Digap is a freelance writer specializing in nutrition science, fitness, and health. After receiving her BSc in Clinical Nutrition and working in the corporate diet industry, she decided to set forth and use her experience to inspire readers to make lasting, healthy lifestyle changes, one healthy meal and workout at a time. She lives in Northern California and spends her free time hiking, working out, and cooking.






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Focus on pollutants that damage crops, not on nutrients: Agri scientists

Vijayawada: Lack of separate irrigation and drainage canals and mixing of water from both sources and usage of such polluted water for cultivation of crops, especially in Godavari and Krishna delta areas, are said to be the major factors for the presence of residues of heavy metals and pesticides in crops like paddy and vegetables in Andhra Pradesh.

As several Central agencies including AIIMS, IICT, NIN, CCMB, NEERI, NCDC, NIN and others have come with their findings on the mystery illness, suspected to be due to presence of pesticides in samples of tomato and brinjal, mercury in raw rice and also finding presence of heavy metals like lead and nickel in the blood samples of the affected persons and nickel in milk, it is believed that contaminated water used for raising crops like paddy and vegetables, was the main culprit.


For want of proper maintenance of both irrigation canals and drainage canals and as they go parallel in some parts of the state, untreated industrial effluents, domestic sewage, runoff water from fields where chemicals were used for cultivation of crops and sources of pollution, find their way into the drainage canals and get mixed with irrigation canals, thereby polluting them.

Scientists from Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University and YSR Horticulture University and from other research centres opine that unlike in the earlier days when usage of fertilisers and pesticides was promoted to boost production of food grains, they are supposed to concentrate more on pollutants finding their presence in food crops.


A scientist from Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University said, “It is time the thrust of research should be more on pollutants than on nutrients, given the situation where food crops are getting polluted from various sources and affecting the health of the consumers.”

Scientists state that earlier they used to concentrate on addressing deficiency of micronutrients like iron, copper and zinc in food crops as such deficiency used to make the crops vulnerable for pests having a major impact on the quantum of yield.

Underlining the importance of industrialisation and urbanisation for development of any city or town or village, the scientists recommend paying more attention on the negative impact of such developmental activities in the backdrop of recent Eluru mystery illness so that it helps avoid recurrence of such illness in any part of the state.


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