We’ve heard of the physical benefits of taking vitamins and supplements to feel our best. However, many vitamins also have an impact on mental health as well. While the absolute best way to boost your mood through food is to maintain a balanced diet rich in greens, grains, fruits and vegetables, if you’re deficient in certain nutrients, your doctor may suggest adding in a daily supplement to feel your best.
B vitamins, including Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), and B12, are some of the best vitamins for mental health, as they are known for changing your mood. If you’re deficient in B vitamins, you may experience depression, irritability and anxiety. On the other hand, sufficient B vitamins will help fight fatigue, improve mental function and memory.
Vitamins B12 and folate (B9) are also important vitamins for keeping your nervous system healthy by producing norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, which influence your mood.
Foods rich in B vitamins include fish, eggs, poultry, lean pork or beef, whole-grains, nuts, and milk.
Vitamin C may be the most well-known of all vitamins due to its immune-boosting effects. Feel a cold coming on? Boost that vitamin C! However, vitamin C also plays a role in mental health as well, since being deficient in this vitamin can lead to fatigue and even depression.
Foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus and red peppers, can positively impact mood, energy levels, and anxiety.
Being diagnosed as vitamin D deficient has become more common, as sunlight is the primary source for this vitamin. This means that people living in warm, sunny places are less likely to have vitamin D deficiencies, and people living in colder climates, where there’s not much sun for long stretches of time, are more likely to be vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D contributes to healthy brain function, and studies have shown that many people experiencing depression and anxiety are also experiencing lower vitamin D levels.
These vitamins and supplements can help support a healthy body AND a healthy mind.