10 Nutritional Deficiencies That Can Cause Depression and Mood Disorders

Depression and mood disorders are devastating health problems today. 

Depression affects around 14.8 million adults in the U.S. That’s around 7 percent of the entire population aged 18 and over. When you go to your doctor, their answer is often a prescription for one of the various popular anti-depressant drugs. Many doctors do not investigate for metabolic or nutritional deficiencies that may be the ‘real problem’ for your depression. Patients have no idea why they feel so awful or where to start looking for the answer. They expect their doctor to give them real solutions. Instead they get drugs as the easy fix. Drugs are not an easy fix because of the serious side effects that come with taking them. Doctors prescribe these drugs from information they get from the drug sales rep which often is only part-truth.

The side effects and dangers of these drugs are down-played or left out altogether. Prescription drugs should only be prescribed after other medical problems have been ruled out.

Scroll further to start the list of risky nutritional deficiencies, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Doctors always stress the importance of omega-3 fats — and for good reason! They help to maintain your brain cell health.

Without it, trans fats will enter your neural system, causing inflammation that can lead to disorders in your mood.

You can find this nutrient in fatty fish, egg yolks, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and dietary supplements.

2.  B-Vitamins

There is much research in Neuropsychiatry that proves the link between B-Vitamin deficiencies and mood disorders including depression. Buy gel capsules instead of tablets with at least 25 mg for each of the different B- Vitamins included in the formulation.

3.  Folate

According to mental health expert, those who lack folate in their systems respond very poorly to antidepressant treatments.

On average, adults need at least 400 mcg of folate daily, and many doctors have even started prescribing something called Deplin, a folate, to treat depression in their patients.

Foods that include high folate levels include: cooked beans and lentils, spinach, avocado, broccoli, and tropical fruits.

4. Zinc

Zinc is used by more enzymes (and we have over 300) than any other mineral. It is crucial to many of our systems. It activates our digestive enzymes so that we can break down our food, and works to prevent food allergies (which, in turn, averts depression in some people, since some of our mood disruptions are triggered by food allergies). It also helps our DNA to repair and produce proteins. Finally, zinc helps control inflammation and boosts our immune system. The NIH recommends a daily intake of 11 mg of zinc for adult men and 8 mg for adult women.

5. Selenium

Doctors say that selenium is required for healthy thyroid function, and, in effect, mental well-being.

This is because selenium is used to convert inactive thyroid hormones to their active form in the liver, where it’s used to make antioxidants and detoxifying compounds in your body.

You can find abundant sources of selenium in foods like sunflower seeds, whole wheat bread, tuna, Brazil nuts, pork, and oysters.

6. Magnesium

Approximately half of the American population is deficient in magnesium.

This is because we ingest relatively high levels of alcohol, sugar, sodas, antibiotics, and sodium, all of which can decrease levels of magnesium.

Experts often refer to magnesium as the “stress antidote,” a powerful mineral that helps your body relax.

You can find a wonderful amount of magnesium in soybeans, lentils, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and dried fruit.

7. Vitamin D

Important to immune function, bones, and brain health. Sunlight is the richest source for natural Vitamin D. The Journal Clinical Nutrition in Jan 21st, 2013 published the result of research that analyzed over 18000 British citizens for Vitamin D deficiencies and associated mental disorders links. They found that a deficiency of Vitamin D was present in patients with depression and panic disorders. The study results stated that people who are deficient in Vitamin D are at higher risk for developing depression later in life. Most seniors are deficient in Vitamin D. Often people working long hours in offices are deficient as well. Get out in the sun. Take a walk during your lunch break or walk your dog. Play a game with your kids outside away from computers and the television. Get out of the house and into the sunshine. Just don’t overdo it if you are sensitive to the sun. Overdoing it is not good either.

8. Iodine

Like selenium, iodine is required for correct thyroid function.

It helps boost your immune system, brain performance, memory, and regulate your body temperature. Above all, the nutrient is crucial for maintaining mental health.

You can find iodine in raw cheeses, iodine-enriched salt, dried seaweed, potatoes, cranberries, canned tuna, fish sticks, and shrimp.

9. Iron

According to the CDC, iron deficiency is common in women of childbearing age.

In fact, around 20 percent of women lack iron, and up to 50 percent of all pregnant women need more iron in their diets.

Iron deficiency can result in an insufficiency of red blood cells, which can cause anemia, fatigue, and brain fog.

Great sources of iron include mussels, clams, nuts, squash seeds, soy products, chicken liver, and nuts like cashews and almonds.

10. Amino Acids

Amino acids are crucial to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Unfortunately, there are nine amino acids that our bodies cannot naturally produce.

Like many other nutrients listed above, amino acids help balance the neurotransmitters in our brains, and reduce fear, anxiety, panic attacks, and stress.

h/t: www.littlethings.com

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