Making regular use of the family of B complex vitamins is imperative for stable mood functions and nerve regulation. Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B12 (cobalamin) play a critical role in the human body’s ability to handle stressful situations and internal stressors. These B complex items can be found in foods such as whole grains, lentils, beans, bananas tempeh and nutritional yeast to name a few. But to complement these, foods high in vitamin c and magnesium also help regulate the nervous system, helping us adapt to stressful situations. These simple plant-based foods are inexpensive and can be easily blended into daily meals and snacks. Cacao and Maca roots have been used not only to keep the stamina of the body going, but also helping to regulate the mood systems
More and more, the links between the foods we eat and our moods, for better or worse, are connected on so many levels. A stable mind and in-tack mental health is just as important and critical as the care that we may give to our exterior bodies that we do in the forms for working out and caring for the physique. While seasonal depression can be common during the colder and winter months, rates of unexplained sadness and bouts of depression are skyrocketing. Lack of internal Vital nutrition, and in particular, a lack of B vitamins along with vitamin D, just may be a leading cause of many mood imbalances.
Vitamin D and the Mind.
In recent studies, it has been shown that maintaining adequate D levels helps maintain serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters needed for mood balance. When Vitamin D levels are supported with the right balance of B complex and Vitamin D, more positive results are seen. Interestingly enough, boosted Vitamin D levels are correlated with stronger immunity outcomes, and decreased exposure to catching infections. Getting natural vitamin D from sunlight is most abundant during the summertime and can be challenging to come by in the cold and winter times. For this reason, supplementing D and getting a regular intake of food mushrooms to keep up with Vitamin D intake would be a good idea. Inadequate Vitamin D intake has been linked with higher rates of depression and seasonal affective disorders.
When we look at the whole total of all this, we know that things are on a case-by-case basis, and everyone has to know what foods and methods work best for them. It should be understood too, that we don’t want to isolate B and D vitamins in our life only. Also, we should be eating a well-rounded palate of fresh fruits and vegetables, get plenty of meaningful exercise and take steps to use Mindfulness to keep stress levels down for improved mood outcomes. And as always, please continue to reach out to your mental health professional for severe and chronic mood related issues.
-Dr. David K. Scott N.D.; CHNP.
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