Nourish Your Brain for Better Mental HealthOct 17, 2019
Nourish Your Brain for Better Mental Health: Risk Factors for Nutrient Depletion
Did you know that specific nutritional deficiency may actually cause mental illness or exacerbate existing symptoms? This is because humans require a variety and certain level of basic vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and amino acids for proper brain function and to manufacture the necessary neurotransmitter levels (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) to maintain mental health.1,2 Without certain nutrients, it can literally be impossible for us to feel good--both mentally and physically.
You May Be Missing Key Nutrients
Even if you eat a healthy diet, your body may still be missing certain key nutrients. A lot of fruits and vegetables have less nutrition in them today compared to their counterparts grown decades ago. This is mainly due to soil depletion as modern agricultural methods continue to strip nutrients from the soil.3 Prescription medications such as antacids, antibiotics, cholesterol medications, anti-depressants, female hormones, anti-convulsants, anti-inflammatories, diuretics, cardiovascular drugs, and diabetes medications have also been associated with specific nutrient deficiencies.
Risk Factors for Nutrient Depletion
You may also be at risk for nutrient deficiencies if you take in inadequate calories, have limited food diversity, or have been exposed to certain toxins. Other health conditions, such as genetic mutations, chronic illness, food allergies, and GI disease can also impact your body's ability to absorb or retain nutrients.
Mental Health and Nutritional Deficiency
Additionally, and somewhat ironically, mental health symptoms can actually put you at risk for nutrient depletion. When you are struggling with mental health issues, healthy eating can feel like a major challenge. You may crave high-sugar foods with little nutritional value, or feel overwhelmed by detailed diet plans or complex recipes. That's why we've designed a simple, easy-to-follow guide to eating for better mental health. You can download your free Resilient Diet Guide here.
The Resilient Diet
Learn about The Resilient Diet, six principles to adjusting your diet for mental health. Read more.
- Sarris, J., Logan, A. C., Akbaraley, T. N., Amminger, G. P., Martinez, V. B., Freeman, M. P. ... Jacka, F. N. (2015). Nutritional medicine as ainstream in psychiatry. The Lancet: Psychiatry, 2(3), 271-274. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00051-0
- O’Neil, A., Quirk, S. E., Housden, S., Brennan, S. L., Williams, L. J., Pasco, J. A., ... Jacka, F. N. (2014). Relationship between diet and mental health in children and adolescents: A systematic review. American Journal of Public Health, 104(10), 31-42. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302110
- Davis, D. R., Epp, M. D., & Riordan, H. D. (2004). Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(6), 669-682.