Do you know how we all get when we’re feeling under the weather? The fact that my body is completely in sync with my emotions always fascinated me. I wonder how it knows I’m feeling down even before I myself become aware of that fact. The answer is simple – our behavior. More precisely, what we eat gives our bodies information and affects it greatly. You heard the saying “Misery loves company”, well, this is it. The fact is that, when we’re depressed, we tend to reach for comfort food which usually means overeating junk food and chocolate. According to nutritionists, this is not exactly healthy food. In fact, it’s the opposite, and the fact that there are no vitamins or healthy nutrients in it gives us an explanation for our initial question. Getting depressed is easy, all you need is a trigger and you’ll do all the work on your own by staying inside and stuffing yourself with junk food and minimizing all social activities. This is why we need to fight it as soon as we notice something and the way to do it is through our own diet. Proper nutrition is especially important for athletes. Besides carbohydrates, protein drinks and healthy fats we need vitamins, lots and lots of vitamins.
This is one of the key elements for creating red blood cells in our body and, as such, it must be taken in necessary amounts. It is naturally found in meat and eggs, as well as cheese and fish. This means you shouldn’t have any trouble satisfying your daily need for vitamin B12. However, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you need to take some extra care when it comes to this topic as a deficiency can cause slow reasoning, fatigue and even paranoia. In that case, you can find a significant amount in cereal. Once you’ve taken care of your daily intake of this vitamin, your body will be able to function properly and enable you normal neurological function, which is quite important.
This vitamin is useful for the production of neurotransmitters in our body. Deficiency can cause anemia, weakened immune system and confusion, as well as depression. This vitamin helps us regulate brain function and mood. People with low levels of vitamin B6 are more prone to depression and mood swings. It can be found in several types of seeds and pistachios, but you can also use supplements if this is not a part of your daily diet. For instance, the innovative Solgar formula includes different types of vitamin B combined with Valerian, an herb with sedative properties. If you decide to make it a part of your daily routine, you shouldn’t be worried about any vitamin B deficiencies.
Our body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to make sure to take it ourselves regularly. This acid protects mitochondrial function in our brain and contributes to the brain’s weight. Statistically, people who take care of their daily intake of this acid are at a lower risk of getting depressed and are less prone to suicide. The main sources of omega-3 is fish and chia seeds. So, next time you start wondering what the deal with chia is and why everyone puts them into smoothies, think omega-3 and happiness.
As you probably already know, iron plays an extremely important role in our bodies, from transporting oxygen literally everywhere to aiding muscle strength. Low levels of iron can cause fatigue and depression, as well as iron anemia that mostly affects women. Iron can be found in all kinds of meat, beans, as well as fortified oatmeal. Some women are particularly prone to anemia, due to heavy menstrual flow or regular blood loss and it is advised that they use iron supplements. They also need to take care when taking certain types of medication that prevent the body from absorbing iron, such as tetracycline, colestipol, ranitidine, etc.
Generally, it’s good to take care of your vitamin and nutrient levels. Regardless of whether or not you have a problem with mood swings, confusion, depression or anything mentioned in the text, you’ll see how the quality of your life will generally improve once you decide to take matters into your own hands. You’ll be much happier and healthier, that’s for sure.