Have you been feeling anxious, depressed, or just off lately but are unable to pinpoint what triggered the feeling? Of course life can get stressful and put us in a funk, but our nutrition can also be, in part, to blame. It has been concluded over and over again that micro and macronutrients play a vital role in our moods and brain function. Knowing this, it is no surprise that so many individuals in the U.S battle anxiety and depression given that the Standard American Diet, properly shortened to SAD, is generally void of many micronutrients.
Vital Nutrients and their role in our mental health
Low magnesium levels have been linked to depressive symptoms. While supplementation of magnesium has been shown to improve symptoms in some people, we always want to try to get our nutrients from whole, unprocessed foods.
All of these foods are great sources of magnesium that we could be consuming everyday.
These are the chemicals that give fruit, vegetables and spices their colors and flavors that we know and love. They have also been shown to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Counting colors (on our plate) instead of calories is a great way to ensure we are getting a plethora of these important vitamins and minerals.
Are you stressed or inflamed?! Research suggests acute inflammation can result in feelings of anxiety. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, is a great way to reduce inflammation.
Our health and our mood is not only impacted by what we eat, but also when we eat. We have all heard of being “hangry”, but going too long with low blood sugar can impact our mood in other ways too.
Going without eating after a workout can result in increased levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. This can leave us feeling anxious and jittery. Additionally, prolonged periods of increased cortisol can, overtime, begin to negatively affect our hormone balance. This can result in chronic stress, depressive episodes, and other previously unexplained mood changes.
Of course, other ailments such as parasite infections and GI inflammation can result in malnutrition, even if we are consuming the correct foods. Addressing malnutrition as a whole can seem overwhelming at first, but just know that you do not have to handle it on your own. Contact us to find out how we can help.