Micronutrients can help people with low moods, stress, mild depression and anxiety
Everyone in the mental health sector seems to be talking about micronutrients right now, and for good reason. After reading research from New Zealand and overseas, I’m learning new and exciting things about the relationship between micronutrients — the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy — and our mental health.
I’ve always had a strong interest in mental health. Alongside running my clinic, I also work in a mental health role for a community organisation. This experience has given me valuable insights into the causes of low moods, mild depression, stress, and anxiety. Nutrition is often one of them.
Nutrition impacts your mood
People with low moods and anxiety often have a poor diet. Is it down to a lack of care, lack of motivation, fatigue, or environmental challenges? Perhaps all of the above. Each case is unique, but poor nutrition tends to contribute to, and exacerbate, disorders.
We already know medication can play a vital role in treating mental health. Medications work well for many people, and it is always important for a medical professional to diagnose and monitor ongoing mental health disorders.
Yet there is so much more we can do to help ourselves. During my career, I have seen how small changes can make a big difference, like a well-structured wellness routine, for example.
Our physical and mental health can deteriorate when stressful life events arrive all at once. This stress can deplete the natural micronutrients in our cells. Every cell in the body needs micronutrients, so additional nutrients are required to top us back up.
A holistic approach, comprised of a good diet and micronutrient supplements, can help to build our body’s resilience during stressful times.
Building micronutrient reserves
Just like a car, we can’t run on an empty tank. If we’re depleted of nutrients, we will struggle to manage ongoing stress.
Micronutrient supplements build our nutrient reserves and help our bodies overcome the damage caused by stress. We can take a broad approach with supplements and cover a number of bases in mental health. Micronutrients are an exciting development, and I believe more people will benefit from the approach.
Taking micronutrients can make sense. It is well-recognised that vitamins like B12 and minerals like zinc can easily become deficient due to modern lifestyle habits. As we age, these deficiencies can worsen, so supplements have a key role to play.
Recent studies also indicate that broad micronutrients can be helpful with singular nutrient deficiencies. We’re fortunate to have a growing body of research on this topic.
What you need to know before taking micronutrients
It’s easier to recommend micronutrients to people who aren’t already taking prescription medications, such as anti-depressants or thyroid hormones, which affect our central nervous systems. These medications tend to compete with one another and need to be monitored, so it’s best to consider micronutrients before prescription medication where possible.
Another thing to note is that micronutrients come in high doses. There’s a reason for this — micronutrients are like food, and we are trying to replenish a starving brain and body. The more depleted our nutrient reserves are, the more micronutrient supplements can help.
Book a 10 minute appointment to find out if micronutrients are suitable for you