Emotions and moods may be affected by the brain and the central nervous system. These structures are part of the interdependent whole of a human body. Each system depends on other supporting structures and adequate supplies of nutrients to function correctly. When the health of one part of the body suffers, others may follow.
Depression can often be linked to a weakness in the brain or other components of the nervous system. Instead of sticking a potentially-harmful band-aid on the problem (like psychiatric drugs), holistic practitioners encourage depressed patients to first look at their overall health, diet, and lifestyle. More and more studies are showing that nutritional deficiencies could play a large role in preventing depression.
Nutrition and Emotional Health
Many people who feel chronically depressed attribute it to external factors such as stress or personal loss. While these can contribute to emotional conditions, chronic depression may also partially stem from physical health problems. Taking drugs that affect the production of chemicals such as neurotransmitters in the body is only a temporary fix – one that comes with a truckload of side effects. A safer and healthier way to fight depression would be to look at the original cause of the problem. In many cases, inadequate nutrition could be causing deficiencies.
Recently, researchers have been studying the effects of nutritional insufficiencies on the brain. For example, several studies were conducted in 2009 to assess the effectiveness of targeted nutritional supplements on emotional health. All three studies found that patients who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements showed a significant decrease in the symptoms of depression.
Supplements for the Brain
Omega-3 fatty acids are only one of several nutrients that are vital to the function of the brain and nervous system. Supplements that can boost brain health and emotional stability include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids
- B-complex vitamins, including B-2, B-6, and B-12 vitamins
- The minerals zinc, folate, chromium, and Iron products
- Amino acids
- Vitamin D
If an individual is depressed, taking a look at their diet could be the first step on the road to recovery. A severe deficiency in any of the above nutrients could result in the symptoms of depression. Improving one’s diet and taking a few supplements is a healthy alternative to potentially-harmful antidepressants with their history of unpleasant side-effects.
You can browse a range of all-natural vitamin and mineral supplements in the Living Clean Store, or read more about holistic medicine: