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Nutrition Psychiatry: How Can Our Nutrition Improve Our Mental Health

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The relationship between nutrition and mental health

Does what we eat and drink have a positive impact on our mental and emotional wellbeing? Results from findings suggest that nutrition does not only help in growth and development but also have an impact on human mental and emotional needs.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) emotional stability is a state of wellbeing in which an individual realizes his or her abilities and can cope with the normal stress of life. Everyone has a risk of developing mental disorders regardless of size, age, and race and numerous disorders has been linked to certain nutritional deficiencies and lack of some important vitamins and minerals in our diet, these vitamins, and minerals are responsible for the production of certain hormones which help in bipolar reduction, anxiety reduction and emotional stability. Lack of these hormones hinders the proper functioning of the nervous system and as a result leads to mental problem.

Eating a balanced diet has been identified as part of the most efficient ways of preventing the disorder, which has led scientists and nutritionists working together to identify possible nutrients and their possible sources that can improve the emotional wellbeing. Intensive research backed with unequivocal evidence has identified the relationship between the food and the brain as well as vitamins and mineral supplement that helps in improving emotional stability and preventing mental illness these include vitamins like vitamin d3, vitamin C and vitamin b12 and also minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc the reasons for their efficiency in treating mental disorders are explained below

Vitamin B12, an essential vitamin found in proteins foods like fish meat and dairy. Vitamin B12 is required in the proper functioning of the brain and nerves (an important factor that influences emotions and anxiety). It is a vitamin that the body needs but cannot produce,, and this particular need is gotten from eating foods containing the vitamin. The vitamin helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system, it improves the memory and mood it does this by synthesizing a hormone called serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood and anxiety. Since the mood depends on the proper functioning of the brain, lack of this vitamin in the diet will lead to a decrease in the production of this hormone and will cause a depressed mood and an increase in anxiety.

Vitamin d is also one of the vitamins that helps in improving emotions and warding of depression the vitamin is gotten from exposure to the sun and food sources of the vitamin are cod liver oil, salmon etc. an optimum amount of this vitamin in the body in regulating the mood and lack of this vitamin can lead to depressive symptoms.

Iron is one of the mineral nutrients that play an important role in the body, from transporting oxygen in the blood to providing energy to some parts of the body. Keeping iron level optimum in the body is influential as the stress, apathy and mood change that accompanies iron deficiency can lead to depression.

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Calcium, the most abundant mineral element in the body, plays an significant role in maintaining strong bones and healthy blood vessels. Certain levels of calcium plays a role in premenstrual-syndrome-related depression, in particular it is found in egg, beans and milk it also forms an association with vitamin D to help regulate mood fluctuations attributed to PMS. Calcium along with magnesium helps to nourish the nervous system and prevent anxiety and restlessness.

Another essential mineral is the trace element zinc. Zinc is an essential trace element found in poultry and fish it is required in small amount for human health, growth, and development it helps in emotional stability and reduces anxiety its deficiency can lead to depression and induced deficit in the behavior of individuals in the society clinical studies have shown that low level of zinc intake contributes to depression and mood swing.

These vitamins and mineral nutrient discussed can be gotten from eating a good and healthy diet, for example the Mediterranean diet which is a diet that includes numerous healthy foods and contains all the vitamins and minerals suitable for emotional stability. We should include these in our daily nutritional requirement to promote a healthy and stable life.

What we eat has a great role to play in improving our mental health, and this improvement can be attained by eating foods and vegetables rich in mood enhancing vitamins and minerals.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Muili Abdulbasit Opeyemi

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