Common Nutritional Deficiencies that can cause Depression and Mood Disorders

Nutritional Deficiences
Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies can play a large role in maintaining and regulating the well-being of our mental health. Some of the most common known deficiencies that can weaken brain function and memory, as well as aggravate levels of stress and anxiety are discussed below.

So it would be wise to look out for these symptoms, but it's even more important to make appointments with your doctor for regular checkups during the year.


B Vitamins

B vitamins — vitamins B 6 and B12 in particular — are known for many health benefits. They can help reduce the risk of strokes, support nail growth, and moisturize skin — but they can also greatly affect your moods. A large percentage of depressed older women found to be deficient in vitamin B12.

You can find incredible amounts of B vitamins in seafood, leafy greens, bananas, fortified soy products, bran cereals, and red meat.

Vitamin D

Many people find that they become more depressed and moody during the winter months.

Due to our lifestyles these days we're exposed to lower levels of sunlight during the winter, and, as a result, many people experience a deficiency in vitamin D — which has been linked repeatedly to depression, anxiety, and weight gain.

The National Institutes of Health suggests that on average, adults should get about 600 IUs of vitamin D a day.

You can find good amounts of this nutrient in oily fish, portobello mushrooms, cod liver oil, green chillies and tofu.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fats helps to maintain your brain cell health. Without it, trans fats will enter your neural system, causing inflammation that can lead to disorders in your mood.
You can find this nutrient in fatty fish, egg yolks, flaxseed oil, walnuts, pecans, leafy greens, cold pressed olive oil, kidney beans, winter squash and dietary supplements.


On average, adults need at least 400 mcg of folate daily, and many doctors have even started prescribing something called Deplin, a folate, to treat depression in their patients.

Foods that include high folate levels include: cooked beans and lentils, spinach, asparagus, avocado, seeds and nuts, broccoli, brussels sprouts, okra, cauliflower, beetroot, bellpaper, papaya, oranges and tropical fruits.


Doctors say that selenium is required for healthy thyroid function, and, in effect, mental well-being.

This is because selenium is used to convert inactive thyroid hormones to their active form in the liver, where it's used to make antioxidants and detoxifying compounds in your body.

You can find abundant sources of selenium in foods like sunflower seeds, whole wheat bread, banana, kiwi, lichee, dates, papaya, jackfruit, tamarind, mango.


Magnesium is a powerful mineral that helps your body relax but approximately half of the population is deficient in magnesium. This is because we ingest relatively high levels of alcohol, sugar, sodas, antibiotics, and sodium, all of which can decrease levels of magnesium.

You can find a wonderful amount of magnesium in seeds, nuts, dill, basil, broccoli, spinach, soybeans, lentils, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and dried fruit.

Please SHARE if you know someone who might have a vitamin deficiency!
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