Have you ever wondered how food affects your mood? We asked Dr. Bisleen Attli, ND, a Naturopathic Doctor who wants to make holistic medicine the forefront of mental healthcare.
Did you know that your food can contribute to your mood? Everything you feed your body is literally telling it to feel good or not to feel good.
This is because our gut directly communicates with our brain! Our gut is lined with thousands of bacteria and has 100 million nerve cells that directly relay information to our brain.
Our gut is also the place where we absorb nutrients, and if our brain doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to function, then we are not going to feel our best.
Nutrient deficiencies can lead to mood disorders. This is because when we look at the pathways to building our feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine and GABA, our bodies require specific nutrients.
Your body is a powerful machine that can function at a high level if we give it the right tools it needs to function.
Here are the most common nutrient deficiencies linked to mood disorders!
Common Nutrient Deficiency #1: B-Vitamins
B-vitamins like B3, B6, B12 and folate are directly involved in making our feel-good hormones like serotonin, GABA and dopamine. They are also involved in our energy pathways and promote healthy brain functioning.
Common Nutrient Deficiency #2: Omega-3s
Omega-3s are an important part of our cellular membrane. They help our membrane be flexible so that nutrients can enter and toxins can leave our cells. Omega-3s have also been shown to have antiinflammatory effects which in turn positively impact brain health.
Common Nutrient Deficiency #3: Magnesium
Magnesium helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycles, your feel-good hormones and improves your body’s ability to cope with stress. Overall magnesium has been shown to have a positive impact on memory, learning and cognitive function.
Common Nutrient Deficiency #4: Iron
Iron is critical for delivering oxygen to different parts of our body, including our brain! Through this, it helps with energy production and helps to make your feel-good hormones. Furthermore, low levels of iron have been linked to low levels of serotonin, which is your happiness hormone.
Common Nutrient Deficiency #5: Zinc
Zinc helps to protect the brain from damage and impacts the areas of the brain that are responsible for emotional regulation. In the research, studies have shown that low levels of zinc can contribute to symptoms of depression.
Bonus! - Amino Acids
Amino acids come from protein, this is what they are broken down to. Amino acids form the building blocks of our feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters. For example, the amino acid L-tryptophan is the precursor to our hormone serotonin. The amino acid L-tyrosine is the precursor to our hormone dopamine.
As you can see, the nutrients we feed our body are critical for our brain health. In order for us to feel our best, we must provide our body with the tools it needs to function properly.
Our bodies can become incredible, powerful machines if we give them the right fuel.