Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10 of the Best Nutrients to Help Boost Your Mood

It seems that depression has become quite commonplace in society. The sad thing is that depression can affect just about anybody --- kids included. There can be various causes from chronic illness to not getting enough sleep and even the foods that we eat. It really does take some effort to eat well by eating whole foods whenever possible, as well as proper water hydration.

Exercise is a given, but that is only part of the equation. So, some ways to combat depression could be as simple as including good foods in our diet -- nutrients that enable our bodies to function properly and efficiently.

Some of the 10 best nutrients to include in our diets to help boost our moods include:

(1) Tryptophan: Serotonin (a chemical neurotransitter found in the brain) which is a component part of the amino acid tryptophan is found in many foods. A lack of enough tryptophan in the diet can be associated with depression.

Foods containing tryptophan include: yogurt, milk, eggs, peanuts, bananas, poultry and fish.

(2) Magnesium: A lack of magnesium in the diet has been associated with mood disorders like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Additionally, it is good to note that some factors can affect the way the body synthesizes this mineral like excessive alcohol, chronic stress and age.

Foods containing Magnesium include: dark chocolate, yogurt, spinach, salmon, peanuts, black beans, cashews and more....

(3) Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These are indeed important for proper brain function and they certainly can affect mood swings and bring on bouts of depression. By adding more Omega's to the diet, depression and bipolar disorder can be greatly minimized.

There are 3 types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahaxaenoic acid) and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, halibut and tuna contain EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids; ALA Omega-3 fatty acids are found in such foods as flax seeds, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

(4) Zinc: The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for zinc is 8 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men. Low levels of this mineral have been associated with serious depression and in fact, zinc treatment is used as an effective antidepressant.

Foods that contain Zinc include: Oysters, beef, pork, lamb, cashews, pumpkin seeds, lentils and more.

(5) Chromium: This mineral is important for the effectiveness of neurotransmitters which send messages between nerve cells and has been useful in the treatment of depression.

Foods that contain chromium: Broccoli, free range beef and pork, Brazil nuts, egg yolks and tomatoes.

(6) Iron: Iron is crucial for proper health function as it alleviates fatigue and mood fluctuations; lack of iron in early childhood has even been associated with learning issues.

Foods containing iron: Free range beef, pork and poultry, fish, lentils, spinach, Swiss chard and dark chocolate.

(7) Calcium: Calcium can certainly affect mood and can also alleviate symptoms of depression. Calcium can help with PMS associated depression too. The RDA for calcium is 1,000 mg/day for adults.

Foods containing calcium include: Cottage cheese, canned salmon, kale, black-eyed peas, baked beans, oranges and almonds.

(8) Vitamin D: There is no doubt that Vitamin D can improve mood and can be detected with inadequate intake of foods rich in vitamin-D and limited sun exposure.

Foods that contain Vitamin D: Wild Salmon, mushrooms, canned tuna, canned sardines, egg yolks and plenty of sunlight.

(9) Folate: Folate has been known to contribute to depression and irritability as well. The RDA for folate is 400 mcg/day for adults.

Foods that contain Folate include: Free range beef liver, Brussels sprouts, oranges, almonds and sunflower seeds.

(10) Lastly, Vitamin B6 assists in the production of neurotransmitters and is crucial for mood regulation. By not having enough of this vitamin, there is an increased risk of depression.

Foods that contain Vitamin B6 include Free range poultry, tuna, salmon, beans, spinach, carrots, brown rice.

The foods that are delineated in this article are not hard to find in the grocery store and can easily be part of a healthy diet.

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