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8 Nutritional Healers to Overcome Mental Disorders

September 4, 2015

great list, although the one glaring exception is Magnesium which should be a part of everyone’s diets on a daily basis, whether thru a supplament or thru juiced fruits! Happy reading!
Did you know that there is a strong connection between nutrition and mental health disorders?

 While nutritional deficiencies and physical illnesses are strongly linked, poor nutrition can significantly contribute to the onset and progression of depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other mental problems. In reference to nutritional neuroscience, an emerging discipline, nutritional factors are strongly interlinked with human behavior, emotions and cognition. The good news is that with healthy balanced diet therapies, you can cope with mental disorders.   

8 Nutritional Therapies to Overcome Mental Disorders
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

According to Taren University of Arizona College of Public Health, Tucson, imbalances in the essential amino acids (EFAs) which include omega-fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids can heighten symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids in your diet will help to improve your mood while promoting the overall health of your brain. Diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help address autism and dyslexia. Consumption of two grams of omega-3 fatty acid every day is generally accepted for healthy persons but patients with mental disorders illness can take up to 9.6 grams.
2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates which naturally occur as polysaccharides are very crucial in structure and function of every cell. Studies indicate that polysaccharides can influence your mood and behavior. Dishes loaded with carbohydrates prompts your body to release insulin. Insulin determines the amount of glucose that gets into the cell for energy production and also permeates the entry of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan has direct effects on levels of neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Studies have shown that consumption of carbohydrates that have low glycemic index (GI) will provide lasting benefits than sugar and sweets. Best sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, pasta, and some fruits and vegetables.
3. Proteins

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. While your body is capable of producing amino acids, some should be supplied in the diet. Protein intake through high protein foods and every amino acid can affect the way your brain functions and mental health. Amino acids make up most of the neurotransmitters in your brain. Tryptophan makes neurotransmitter serotonin while dopamine is made from amino acid tyrosine. Deficiencies in these amino acids will directly impact the function of neurotransmitters, which often cause aggression or low moods in patients with mental disorders. Shockingly, a buildup of the some amino acids in the brain can cause mental retardation and brain damage.  

4. B-Complex Vitamins
In reference to a study published in the journal Neuropsychobiology, both male and female participants who received nine vitamins that were 10 times the normal recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for a year had improved mood. Interestingly, their blood status of the nine vitamins hit a plateau after just 3 months. Researchers believed Vitamin B2 and B6 caused the improvement in mood. Vitamin B12 has been shown to delay the onset of dementia. Folic acid improves depression symptoms while boosting the function of antidepressant medications.

5. Calcium

In a recent study, it was observed that antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prevent the absorption of calcium into bones. Plus, SSRIs can cause low blood pressure, leading to falls and bone injuries. Indiscriminate ingestion of SSRIs can put you at an increased risk of mental illnesses like depression. They may also cause falls and fractures. Regular consumption of foods that are rich in calcium can help in preventing mental disorder and osteoporosis.

6. Lithium

When it comes to psychiatry, experts say that it has been useful in treating mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder. It is antidepressant in nature and can help to prevent suicidal thoughts and attempts in patients with depression. Other therapeutic uses of lithium include alleviating eating disorder, excessive alcoholism and aggression.However, be careful when using lithium to deal with mental disorder due to its toxicity, particularly in pregnant and lactating women.

7. Selenium

According to Dr. David Benton, from the University of Wales, at least five studies have shown that consumption of small amounts of selenium can help in mood regulation in patients suffering from mental disorders. In addition, studies have demonstrated that patient’s populations living with mental illnesses become less anxious when administered selenium in small dosages.
8. Zinc
A number of clinical studies have shown that depression patients who receive zinc in small quantities report improvements in symptoms. In addition, oral consumption of zinc can improve the efficiency of antidepressant therapy. Zinc also helps in protecting brain damages caused by free radical in your body.

Nutritional deficiencies can play a part in the development of mental disorders irrespective of your age. If poor nutrition exposes you to altered brain or behavioral functions, they can be corrected using dietary measures, but only to certain degree. It is recommendable to contact a mental health expert if you need dietary therapies to overcome mental disorder.
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