5 key nutrients for mental health
To keep your brain healthy as well as your body, a growing body of research shows that getting enough of certain nutrients is crucial. According to a recent research review published in The Lancet Psychiatry, "it has been proven that the quality of diet and the deficiencies in certain essential nutrients are determining factors for physical and mental health." Here are a few of the most important nutrients to focus on to maintain your psychological well-being:
- Folate: This nutrient helps the body produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are important in mood regulation. "[M]any people who struggle with depression have low folate levels in their blood," nutritionist Karen Ansel told Yahoo Health.
- Vitamin D: It's difficult to get enough vitamin D in food alone, and studies have found that low levels are associated with depression. Vitamin D supplements can help people who live in cloudy climates to get enough of the "sunshine vitamin" in their diets.
- Zinc: This mineral is associated with mood regulation and proper immune function, making it a key mental health contributor.
- Iron: Found in red meat, nuts, beans and dark leafy greens, iron is essential for mental well-being, helping to combat depression.
- Complete proteins: These proteins, found in eggs, poultry and soy products, are a key source of amino acids, which help to improve mental function and balance moods.
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