Have you randomly ever felt low in mood and found it difficult to snap out of it? Adding in vitamins and supplements that you are deficient in can aid in boosting your mood, along with consuming a nutrient-rich diet! Read below and find out what you can do to boost your mood.
Neurotransmitters in the brain are chemical messengers that send and receive information between neurons in your brain cells and the rest of your body. These transmissions influence most biological reactions in your body. When your brain’s chemical transmitters are in balance, you may think more clearly, feel less anxious, and enjoy a more positive outlook. However, an imbalance can have the opposite effect.
Most of the supplements sold include neurotransmitters as well as vitamins and minerals. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that has been associated with mood, appetite and sleep. It impacts levels of mood and happiness, low levels are known to be a factor in depression.
Another neurotransmitter is dopamine; its key function is to recognise pleasure, enjoy rewards and regulate memory. Individuals who have low levels of dopamine often experience symptoms like depression, chronic fatigue and the feeling of hopelessness.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a calming brain neurotransmitter that supports mood.
Magnesium is a mineral that has aids in many functions to support the health of the body. Deficiency in magnesium has been linked to low serotonin levels; symptoms of magnesium deficiency include mood swings, agitation, fatigue, muscle weakness and high blood pressure.
Magnesium-rich foods include nuts, spinach and dark chocolate. If you are experiencing symptoms of magnesium deficiency (irritability, fatigue, mental confusion) supplementing with magnesium could help to boost your mood and health.
Zinc is another essential mineral that your body requires for optimum health, particularly with nerve function and the development of the immune system. The body cannot naturally produce this nutrient on its own and therefore needs to get it from other sources; shellfish, meat, legumes, soaked pumpkin seeds and nuts are all-natural sources of zinc, however, people fail to consume enough zinc from food sources. Symptoms of a zinc deficiency may include mood swings, decreased appetite and decreased immunity. Copious amounts of zinc are found in the brain and is correlated to the regulation to the brain and body’s response to stress.
Vitamin B12 is essential for multiple functions in the body; it contributes to the production of hormones in your brain, including those that affect your mood and feelings. A B12 deficiency is common, particularly in those following a strict vegan diet. Foods rich in B12 include meat, chicken, eggs and dairy products. B12 deficiency symptoms include changes in mood, dizziness, and fatigue. Supplementing with B12 could help support a healthy neurological function of the brain, which may reduce mood swings and improving energy levels.
Omega fatty acids are essential because your body cannot make them itself. They are essential for many functions, such as heart and blood pressure functions. They also play a vital role in supporting a healthy brain and nerve cells, as the nervous system is made up mostly of fats.
Foods rich in omega-3 include fish, seafood and leafy greens. A study found countries that eat a diet rich in omega three oils have lower rates of depression. Symptoms of omega 3 deficiency include dry skin, dull hair and insomnia.
Ginseng is a herb that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times, the root can be eaten raw or steamed, but it is also available in other forms, such as tea or pills.
Studies have shown that ginseng may enhance brain skills, including mood, behaviour and memory. Many animal studies show that these benefits may be due to ginseng’s ability to increase dopamine levels. The active compound in ginseng, ginsenoside is effective in increasing dopamine in the brain.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that line your digestive tract, they are beneficial for gut health and also treat health problems, mood swings being one. Unfriendly gut bacteria can decrease the production of dopamine, whereas probiotics can increase it, which can boost mood. Studies conducted on rat showed that an increase in dopamine production improved mood and anxiety with probiotic supplements. You can also consume probiotics foods eating fermented food products, such as yoghurt, kefir, or taking a dietary supplement (must have over 1 billion colonising forming units).
Don’t get gloomy, speak to one of our qualified Nutritionists or Functional Medicine Practitioners to find out what foods you can eat more of and what lifestyle changes you can make to boost your mood for overall optimum health!
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