Food is more than sustenance. Eating well feeds your body, soul, and mental health.
But, no matter how clean you eat, nutrient deficient soil, pollution and imported food have resulted in a nationwide shortage of nutrient-rich produce.
So how can you ensure that your brain is fed? The simple solution can be found in a capsule.
The following supplements have been proven to reduce low mood in clinical trials, and are our favourites for nurturing both mind and mood.
Nations who eat more fish than others tend to be happier, and it’s no coincidence. Omega 3 (found in oily fish) is thought to affect the brain positively due to its ability to interact with mood related molecules in the brain.
Studies show that higher intakes of omega 3 are associated with greater volume of grey matter (brain tissue). The two key fatty acids responsible for these mechanisms are DHA (docosaheaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Both of these fatty acids have antioxidant effects, helping reduce oxidative stress, which is a contributing factor for mood health.
The active ingredient in turmeric, also has powerful antioxidant properties. One study has proven curcumin to be almost as effective as pharmaceuticals in terms of lifting mood. When used alongside pharmaceuticals, the results were significant, with 78% of people taking them concurrently experiencing a reduction in symptoms.
Zinc is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, many of which act as antioxidants. Combating oxidative stress isn’t the only reason it’s one of the most powerful tools for reducing low mood though.
It’s also essential for creating feelgood neurotransmitters, the building blocks of the mind.
Mental health challenges also tend to coincide with dysregulated glutamate homeostasis. Zinc is a modulator of NMDA (glutamate) receptor activity, boosting mood health.
B vitamins are responsible for building neurotransmitters which regulate motor control, mood and stress levels. They also help ensure the brain has enough energy to function properly. B vitamins support the nervous system and oxygen transfer from red blood cells to other cells, helping lift and maintain mood.
Our bodies can produce enough of this when exposed to enough sunlight. But due to pollution, sunscreen and increased screen time, many of us are left with insufficient levels.
Those with mood disorders are more likely to suffer from a shortage of this crucial vitamin. Studies have shown that supplementing with a high-quality vitamin D product significantly decreases low mood.
Our gut is our second brain, and where many feelgood neurotransmitters like GABA are created. GABA is a soothing neurotransmitter able to ease stress and boost low moods.
Research proves that mental health challenges and dysfunction in the gut microbiome are linked. Probiotics help balance good bacteria in the gut, for better mental wellbeing.
Will supplements cure my mental health challenges?
Supplements can play an impactful role in supporting your mind and mood, but they are not a cure all. Nor should they be used as a substitute for prescribed medicines.
Instead, they can help to address nutritional imbalances that are often found to contribute to mental health challenges. And when it comes to your health, it’s best to test, rather than guess. Our naturopaths can help pinpoint and test for nutritional imbalances that could be contributing your mood health. From there, our naturopaths can recommend the right supplements for your needs, alongside dietary and lifestyle tweaks, talking therapy, or energy-based treatments like acupuncture or craniosacral therapy that may be beneficial.
If you are struggling with your moods, please get in touch. We can help you move forward on your path to recovery.
 M A Petrilli, The Emerging Role for Zinc in Depression and Psychosis, 2017