The 6 Nutritional Deficiencies That Can Cause Depression

Depression can be caused by many different things, including nutritional deficiencies. Learn more in this article.

Depression is a mood condition. It’s characterized by the continual feeling of sadness, irritability and a general loss of interest in daily activities and life in general.

It is quite common, especially in developed countries. Today, it is even considered a pubic health condition.

Many years ago, it was thought that only an emotional situation caused depression.

However, in time, they found that it is due to changes in the chemistry of the brain. Genetics, environmental factors and hormonal changes can produce this change.

In addition, it turns out that eating habits have a lot to do with the development of depression. The deficiency of some nutrients increases the incidence of recurrence of this problem.

Because of this, it’s essential to improve your diet. We need to increase the consumption of foods that help to avoid and combat this problem.

In the following, we want to share 6 deficiencies that relate to the development of depression.

Find out what they are!

1. Omega 3 fatty acids

Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids provide multiple benefits to the body, including emotional health.

Their ingestion plays a key role in the development and functioning of the central nervous system, since they control inflammation and regulate its activity.

Omega 3 fatty acid is also key in balancing the division of chemical substances in the brain and reducing the risk of premature aging.

Also, it’s recommended as part of  treatment for depression to increase the production of serotonin while minimizing any excess of cortisol. 

This may be obtained by eating:

  • fatty fish
  • seeds and nuts
  • legumes and beans
  • eggs
  • vegetables

Also read: 7 recommendations for a young brain

2. Vitamin D

A lack of vitamin D not only increases the risk of bone and joint  problems, it can also cause episodes of depression and dementia.


This vitamin is the key to serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to mood and happiness.

The correct absorption of the vitamin reduces the risk of emotional imbalances. It also exerts positive effects on the immune system.

The most common form of absorption is from the sun’s rays. Vitamin D is also found in the following foods:

  • Blue fish
  • Codfish oil
  • Cereals and enriched soy products
  • Daily products
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms

3. Zinc

Zinc is another micro nutrient that plays a part in the regulation of emotions. It stimulates some neurological functions and nervous system activity.

Furthermore, in adequate levels, it increases the production of the neurotransmitters of well being.

At the same time, it’s implicated in more than 250 independent biochemical pathways that have to do with the function of principal organs.

Foods that correct this deficiency include:

  • Red meat
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Organic dairy products

4. Selenium

This nutrient is essential for brain function and mood stabilization.

Selenium plays an important role in the functioning of the thyroid gland.  At the same time, it is essential for mental health.

Its antioxidant and restorative effects are key for the prevention and treatment of depression.

Sources are:

  • Lean meats
  • Blue fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
  • Beans and peas
  • Eggs
  • Seafood

5. Magnesium

Unfortunately, magnesium is one of the most difficult minerals for the body to absorb.

However, in the treatment of depression it has a fundamental role. It increases the production of serotonin and dopamine and also reduces the production of cortisol.

Sources are:

  • Seaweed
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Bran
  • Green leafy vegetables

See this article:  8 reasons why you are deficient in magnesium and how to remedy this

6. Iron

Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of anemia, mental fatigue and depression.

It’s important to know that iron is an essential component in cognitive and developmental functioning  as well as sensor-motor functioning.

Insufficient magnesium causes an insufficient amount of red blood cells. This affects the oxygenation of the cells and  causes emotional imbalance, fatigue and mental confusion.

To increase levels, consume the following:

  • Red meat
  • Red beets
  • Blue fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Spinach and greens
  • Pomegranates
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter

Overall, fighting the above mentioned deficiencies can be key to treatment for patients with depression and low moods.

Nevertheless, it’s still necessary to analyze other aspects to determine what could be the origin and what other measures are required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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