The weather is changing and the evenings are starting to get shorter signalling the end of summer. If this is causing you to suffer a bout of post-summer blues then getting the right nutrients can really help boost your mood.
This is an amino acid essential for the human body and is a precursor for both serotonin and melatonin - the messengers responsible for positive mood and quality sleep.
L-Tryptophan can be found in buffalo mozzarella, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, soybeans, tofu, sunflower seeds, oats and poultry. Due to unhealthy eating habits, as well as too much stress and too little time, few people are able to meet the body’s requirement for L-tryptophan and therefore you might want to consider supplementing your intake of this amino acid.
The mood-lifting effects of L-tryptophan stems from the conversion of the amino acid into the neurotransmitter serotonin. As a precursor for serotonin, L-tryptophan contributes significantly to the balancing of our state of mind and has particularly positive effects on our sense of wellbeing.
Magnesium is a key mineral playing over 300 roles in maintaining and protecting the body’s health, deficiencies can lead to chronic stress, fatigue and hormone imbalances. Good food sources of this mineral include almond butter, beans, tofu, cashew nuts, buckwheat, brazil nuts, pecans, rye and peanuts.
Magnesium plays a large role in the development of serotonin, which is a major contributor to feelings of happiness. Due to magnesium’s ability to help regulate emotions, it’s a common element in natural remedies for balancing mood.
The Recommended Daily Allowance of Magnesium is 375mg.
These are essential fatty acids for mood health, and can be found in oily fish, chia seeds, flax seeds and omega oils.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that plays an important role in brain health and contributes up to 18 percent of the brain’s weight. The body does not naturally produce omega-3, so it needs to be consumed from outside sources. Studies have shown a correlation between consumption of fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a decreased risk of depression and suicide. Whether eating fish or snacking on chia seeds, increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help combat depression.
B vitamins are essential for energy production and can be found in whole-grains and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B6 helps the production of neurotransmitters (which send messages from the brain to the rest of the body). Consuming Vitamin B6 is essential for regulating brain function, which influences our emotions. In addition to regulating healthy moods, Vitamin B6 is also an effective method for treating premenstrual depression.
Vitamin B12 is an essential element that aids in the creation of red blood cells and nerves. Low levels of B12 can cause short-term fatigue and is associated with depression. Vitamin B-12 is found naturally in meats, eggs and animal by-products, which means that vegetarians and vegans have an increased risk of developing a deficiency. Because moods depend largely on signals from the brain, B12 plays an important role in regulating depression. Consuming enough Vitamin B12 allows the body to synthesise a group of nutrients crucial for normal neurological function.
Chromium is a trace mineral found in small amounts in the body. It plays an important role in increasing the brain’s level of serotonin, noradrenaline and melatonin, which help regulate emotion and mood. Because chromium works directly with the brain’s mood regulators, it’s been found to be an effective treatment for depression.
As the summer sun fades, so does the body's levels of vitamin D. A D3 supplement with 1000 i.u, is a great way to replace some of this lost goodness.
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.