The brain and body need nutrients. Without them all sorts of health problems may arise, including unhappiness, stress, anxiety, and depression. It's not so simple as taking a pill or eating healthfully though, some foods need to be combined with others to have the nutrients absorb properly. Even when foods or supplements with the right nutrients are consumed, genetic conditions can prevent these nutrients from being processed and used in the body.
Nutrient Deficiencies Related to Mood
In one study, most subjects diagnosed with bipolar or severe depression were found to lack one or more of the following: fiber, α-linolenic (omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid), the B vitamins including thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc (Davison K Michelle). Nearly all of these vitamins and minerals are well established in maintaining healthy brain function. Other nutrients that play a role in mood and depression include vitamin D and selenium. The B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble, while vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble (Corbett). Water soluble vitamins need to be regularly replenished while fat soluble vitamins store in the body and slowly release. Fat soluble vitamins also are better absorbed when consumed with fat.
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)
In the United States most people base their nutrient intake on recommended daily allowances (RDAs). The RDAs seen on food packaging are the recommended minimum nutrient intake of vitamins and minerals to be healthy, which means you can take more of most nutrients without negative side effects. It is rare to get too much of a nutrient eating whole foods, but if you begin taking supplements, follow the serving sizes and directions to prevent overdosing.
Any nutrient deficiency can cause problems, so consider having a medical professional test your nutrient levels. They may instruct you to supplement with a multivitamin or eat more of certain foods. A wholesome diet with lots of variety will get you most of the nutrients you need to be healthy, but food and how each individual’s body processes it is complex, so deficiencies may still arise. Furthermore, nutrients from fruit and vegetables are dependent upon the soil they are grown in. A deficiency in the soil means a deficiency in the food grown. If possible, get to know your local farmer and ask them how they grow your food. It’s for your health!
Genetics and Nutrient Malabsorption
Note that fortifying nutrients you are deficient in after a nutrient test may not be enough. Several genetic conditions and diseases cause malabsorption and prevent your body from optimal mental and physical health. Therefore a second nutrient test or genetic testing is necessary to know if these nutrients are being absorbed properly. Genetic testing is sometimes necessary because a nutrient test will show the body having plenty of a nutrient, but it won't be using the nutrient at all. For instance, folate, or vitamin B9, may not be processed into its usable form, L-methylfolate, due to a genetic abnormality, and in turn heightens the potential for experiencing depression (Nelson). Once diagnosed by a medical professional, individuals may be given a L-methylfolate supplement.
Search The World's Healthiest Foods website for foods rich in the nutrients listed above.
Do your resolutions from the Old Year still stand strong? Do you still yearn for those changes, discoveries and affirmations to come true? Whatever goods or evils have presented themselves to you this year, what is it that you truly hoped would become of your life?
Albert Einstein may have said that time is relative, but it certainly is moving forward for the most of us. With fifty-eight days remaining until the New Year, now is a good point to check in with where you were last December and where you're headed toward next year.
Every moment there is a capacity for change. If you're on the right track to the changes you want, great, but if not, well...
Have you ever felt like you're being distracted from who you want become? Like you have every intention of growing, saying, doing but, it all gets pushed to the wayside with lack of time? Try keeping a schedule with a daily planner, notepad, calender, or phone. 2015 schedulers are available now! Consider in this schedule what really is important to your goals. Grant pause to other pursuits so attention can be given to personal growth. Remember that personal growth must come before some pursuits can be fully realized, such as relationships.
Don't half-ass your life, but do meet your desires to fulfillment at least half-way.
Maybe it's not the scheduling but a lack of discipline? You can temporarily block distracting websites to prevent habitual peeking at social media or news updates until your work is done or nighttime swings around. Try doing work away from your house to avoid snacking and falling into other projects. Breaking away from individual attempts at change by being held accountable for your actions with a friend, pet, support group, coach, or counselor also helps!
Maybe your goals seem boring? What can you do to combine your goals with the things you enjoy? How about a game or social outlet?
Nothing will happen unless you first try, and sometimes you just have to force yourself into the change before you love the change.
Now is the time to reaffirm what was and what is to be. Good luck with the old and the new and the changes to come soon!
Hi! My name is Sage Liskey, the founder of the Rad Cat Press. I grew up seeing a lot of the disturbing, toxic, and unhealthy sides of American culture, and decided I wanted to do something to change it. Since 2010 I have been writing books and zines (booklets) focused around uplifting lives and reimagining society, with a primary focus in mental health and empowerment. I believe a better world is possible, so I hope you feel inspired and a little more fulfilled from what you find here. Read on about my mission.
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