If you feel depressed, irritable, anxious or tired, it may simply be that you’re not getting certain essential nutrients from your diet. Today, I’m going to share with you three essential nutrients you must have in sufficient quantities in order to balance your moods, and improve your physical and mental resilience.
Several studies have shown that vitamin C helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress. People who have high levels of vitamin C do not show the expected mental and physical signs of stress when subjected to acute psychological challenges. What’s more, they bounce back from stressful situations faster than people with low levels of vitamin C in their blood.
So dose up on your daily vitamin C with healthy food choices such as papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, kiwifruit, oranges, cantaloupe and kale.
If you suspect that you’re not getting sufficient vitamin C in your diet, or would like an extra boost to fight off stress or emotional challenges, you might consider taking a vitamin C supplement.
Folic acid deficiency has been found among people with depression and has been linked to poor response to antidepressant treatments.
According to the Mayo Clinic, doses of 500 micrograms of folic acid or 15-50 milligrams of methylenetetrahydrofolate daily can be used as an adjunct treatment with conventional antidepressants.
Generally speaking, you might consider eating a high-folic diet if you experience irritability, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, insomnia, or general or muscular fatigue.
Excellent sources of folate include beans and legumes such as lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans and black beans, as well as leafy green vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, mustard greens and turnip greens.
According to NCBI, five studies have reported that a low selenium intake was associated with poorer mood.
A study conducted by doctors David Benton and Richard Cook at the University of Wales showed that the lower the level of selenium in the diet, the more the subjects reported feelings of anxiety, depression and fatigue. The results also showed that these feelings subsided following the addition of selenium supplements to the diet.
Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish (halibut, tuna, cod, sardines, salmon), shellfish (oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams, scallops), meat (beef, liver, lamb, pork), poultry (chicken, turkey), eggs, mushrooms, and grains (wheat germ, barley, brown rice, oats).
As the winter approaches, I hope you dose up with some of these essential nutrients and get yourself in a positive frame of mind for the upcoming holiday season!