More on Nutrients That Promote Mental Wellness
As mentioned in our previous blog “April 7 Is World Health Day”, specific nutrients can help promote mental wellness, elevate mood and prevent or improve feelings of depression.
In this blog, I’ll share more on nutrients that are important for mental health.
Vitamin B12 and Folate. People suffering from depression often have low levels of vitamin B12 and folate. A deficiency of vitamin B12 and folate can lead to irritability, depression and insomnia. Therefore, adequate intake of folic acid and B12 are crucial for mental health.
Foods that contain vitamin B12 and/or folic acid include asparagus, beetroot, lentils, almonds, spinach, liver, chicken and fish. Asparagus is an excellent source – just 1 cup of cooked asparagus provides about 50% of your daily folic acid and B12 requirements. Kidney beans are another excellent source of folate. One cup of cooked beans provides about 50% of your daily recommendations.
Selenium. Adequate intake of selenium can help improve mood and decrease depression. Those who lack selenium are more likely to be depressed. Brazil nuts are one of the best sources. Other sources include yellowfin tuna, halibut, cod, sardines, walnuts and poultry.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. A lack of omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to mood disorders and depression. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, cod, haddock, halibut, flaxseed and walnuts. Nuts contain healthy fats and protein.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important in alleviating depression. Vitamin D deficiency is common amongst those who spend very little time outside, and those who live in northern climates. Foods that contain vitamin D include fortified breakfast cereals, breads, milk and milk alternatives. However, those with limited sun exposure may need supplementation.
Magnesium. Magnesium is an essential nutrient important in mood regulation. A deficiency in magnesium can result in feelings of fatigue and nervousness. Sunflower seeds are a great source of magnesium – ¼ cup provides 20% of daily recommendations. Other sources of magnesium include seafood, meats and Swiss chard.