Nutritional deficiencies can cause physical diseases. However, this deficiency can also cause mental illnesses including depression.
Experts have found that deficiencies in the following 9 nutrients can cause depression.
* Iron .
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Studies show that women are more prone to depression than men. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry in 2008, this is because anemia is common in women aged 25-45. Iron deficiency is believed to be responsible for depression and fatigue.
* Zinc .
Over the past few decades, at least five studies have concluded that zinc levels are lower in patients with clinical depression. Furthermore, oral zinc supplements have also been observed to make antidepressant therapy more effective. In addition, zinc also protects brain cells against potential damage caused by free radicals.
* Folic acid .
Doctors found that depressed patients had levels of folate or folic acid 25% lower than healthy people. If you are taking antidepressants and have a folic acid deficiency, you will respond less well to treatment. The researchers suggest that taking 500mcg of folic acid along with an antidepressant enhances the drug’s effectiveness.
If you’re on a low-carb diet for long-term weight loss, this can lead to depression. That’s because the production of the mood-boosting chemicals serotonin and tryptophan in the brain is triggered by carbohydrate-rich foods.
* The protein .
Protein is not only important for a healthy body, but it is also beneficial for brain function and mental health. This is because many neurotransmitters in the brain are made from amino acids, which are found in proteins. If you have a poor diet and don’t get enough protein, you’re also at risk for depression.
* Omega-3 fatty acids.
The brain is one of the organs with the highest amount of lipids and fats. In fact, the gray matter of the brain contains 50% fatty acids. Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce symptoms of depression and improve mood.
* B-complex vitamins.
Studies show that patients with depression report improved mood after their vitamin B deficiency is treated. B complex vitamins include vitamins B1, B2, B6, B-12 and thiamin. Both teenagers and older adults with vitamin B deficiency show signs of cognitive changes that can lead to depression.
* Magnesium .
A 2012 study published in the journal Neuropharmacology revealed that when you’re stressed, magnesium is the first mineral used up, which in turn leads to depression and anxiety. Increasing magnesium absorption through food can protect your mental health.
* Vitamin D .
If you don’t get enough morning sunlight and your diet is also lacking in sources of vitamin D, you may be at higher risk for depression. Researchers found that depressed patients were deficient in vitamin D.