The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Depression

February 24, 2016
When you don't get enough zinc in your diet you won’t have the energy to do anything. It might be associated with symptoms like depression, fatigue, poor appetite, or hair loss.

Depression can be difficult to treat when it’s chronic or severe, or if the person is already taking other medication. However, you can indeed fight depression in the earliest stages, when you start to feel that discouragement, sadness, anxiety, or another type of negative emotional state coming on. A great way to do this is with vitamins and minerals for depression.

In today’s article, we want to talk about the vitamins and minerals for depression that directly impact your nervous system to promote a more positive outlook on life. In turn, you’ll feel more happy, calm, and joyful.

The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Depression

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential component of a strong immune system.

However, it also plays an important role in your nervous system, because a lack of vitamin C can lead to feelings of fatigue and sadness. Not getting enough of this vitamin isn’t going to harm you, but over the long term, it can lead to depression.

It’s also a good idea to take extra vitamin C when you’re experiencing times of high physical or mental stress, because it helps prevent the onset of negative moods.

The best way to obtain your recommended dose of vitamin C is by eating citrus fruits. Make sure they’re organic. You can even consume the peel, which has additional beneficial properties.

Foods that are rich in vitamin C include:

  • Guava
  • Cranberries
  • Kiwi
  • Raspberry
  • Red bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

2 citrus fruits minerals for depressionVitamin B6

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is responsible for controlling symptoms like anxiety and depression. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause you to become very irritable, and when you reintroduce it to your diet you’ll be shocked by how much better you feel.

Vitamin B6 is found in the following foods:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Banana
  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Whole grains

The best way to get your daily allowance of vitamin B6 is to add a little brown rice or oats to your meals as a substitute for bread.

3 whole grainsFolic acid

Numerous studies have highlighted the relationship between depression and a deficiency of vitamin B9, also known as folic acid. According to research, low levels of folic acid can cause a decrease in your production of serotonin, which is key to preventing depression.

It also confirms the importance of this nutrient in overcoming stress and periods of sadness, which can lead to more serious conditions if not treated early on.

Read: Mental Tools that Help Deal with Depression

Foods that are rich in folic acid include:

  • Beef, chicken, or turkey liver
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Asparagus
  • Melons
  • Avocado
  • Orange
  • Banana

Zinc

It’s been recently discovered that zinc is an important neurotransmitter for your nervous system, and a zinc deficiency may be associated with depression, fatigue, and other disorders.

Some symptoms of zinc deficiency include a loss of appetite, hair loss, and a weakened immune system.

Getting more zinc is especially recommended when your depression is related to the onset of menopause, as this mineral also helps to regulate the body’s hormonal changes.

Overall, it’s one of the best minerals for depression.

Some foods that are rich in zinc are:

  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grains

You might like: Fighting Depression with Yoga

seafood minerals for depression

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for good physical and mental health. It helps regulate the nervous system and helps prevent insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, stress, and depression.

Unfortunately, commercial agricultural practices lead to poor magnesium stores in the food that’s being produced today, meaning that we’re consuming levels of magnesium that are well below what our bodies need.

It’s one of the most essential minerals for depression help.

Foods that are rich in magnesium are:

  • Shellfish
  • Milk and cheese
  • Caviar
  • Red meat
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Prickly pear cactus

We recommend taking a magnesium supplement under the advice of your doctor.

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  • Coppen, A., & Bolander-Gouaille, C. (2005). Treatment of depression: Time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12. Journal of Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881105048899
  • Hvas, A. M., Juul, S., Bech, P., & Nexø, E. (2004). Vitamin B 6 level is associated with symptoms of depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. https://doi.org/10.1159/000080386
  • Swardfager, W., Herrmann, N., Mazereeuw, G., Goldberger, K., Harimoto, T., & Lanctôt, K. L. (2013). Zinc in depression: A meta-analysis. Biological Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.008
  • Serefko, A., Szopa, A., Wlaź, P., Nowak, G., Radziwoń-Zaleska, M., Skalski, M., & Poleszak, E. (2013). Magnesium in depression. Pharmacological Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1734-1140(13)71032-6