GUEST BLOG: Top 4 Vitamins for Boosting Mental Health
Our mental health affects every facet of our lives. From how we think, feel, and interact with others, to even how productive we are at work.
A study by the World Health Organization shows that depression and anxiety takes a trillion dollar toll on the global economy. It also revealed that a negative working environment impacts an employees’ mental health and can lead to being less productive.
So caring for your mental health isn’t just about ensuring self-care; it also boosts your productivity as well.
As our feature ‘Improving Your Mental Health’ notes, we often find ourselves unable to perform at our optimal level when our mental health is in a poor state. However, some nutrients and supplements can actually help boost your mental health and give you that extra push you need to thrive. Here are 4 of them:
Since the beginning of nutritional psychiatry, vitamin B has always been seen as a mental health booster. But a recent study conducted by youth mental health institution Orygen reveals that vitamin B12, B6, and B9 actually have neuroprotective effects on people with mental health problems. This means that they can protect you against brain damage. Not surprisingly, the study also found that those who take supplements with B-group vitamins perform better in memory and cognitive tasks.
Menaquinone or vitamin K2 can help people suffering from depression and anxiety. This vitamin not only activates proteins and calcium in the body, it also regulates blood coagulation – an important factor in metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is recognized as a factor in being predisposed to the development of depression. Studies have shown that people who consume a lot of vitamin K have a lower chance of getting depressed, and that it can also help alleviate a depressed mood.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Two specific kinds of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are natural mood boosters. These carboxylic acids which can be found in fish oil - which also contain vitamin A - are a natural part of cell membranes and influences neurotransmitters. There have been numerous studies that have found omega 3 fatty acid supplements, when added on top of psychotropic medication for mental health patients, can help manage depression and anxiety.
This vitamin is well known for its calcium absorption and capabilities in helping to maintain teeth and bone health. Recent studies show that a lack of vitamin D can cause chemical imbalances that may lead to depression and even seasonal affective disorder. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is a hormone – hence, its more direct impact on hormonal balances. Adequate levels of vitamin D can enhance your mood and aids in managing stress levels.
While nutritional psychiatry is still an emerging science, the research so far is nothing particularly new and is consistently developing. It should be noted that these vitamins and supplements cannot replace medicine and you should consult your doctor if you have any immediate concerns.
Freelance Writer, Mental Health Advocate
Alicia Eva is a freelance writer and mental health advocate who wants people to know that nutrition plays a huge part in how we perceive and interact with the world. When she’s not chasing deadlines, she spends a lot of time hiking in the woods with her golden retriever, Jack.