Mental fitness is equally as important as physical fitness. It must never be neglected. Around 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental disorders – this fact in itself speaks of nothing less than a grave condition.
Mental fitness means having an excellent brain and emotional health. Besides a healthy diet, including mind sharpening exercises to your daily routine can help you achieve the highest level of mental fitness.
Speaking about nutrients, just as proteins are important in strengthening your physical health, your brain needs vitamins to function right.
If you deprive your brain of these vital nutrients for long, you are likely to experience several neurological and emotional problems in the long run.
Vitamins boost your metabolism and play the role of fat burners. Losing excess fat from the body certainly elevates your mood, thus benefiting your mental health.
Here are all major vitamins that have a significant impact on your mental health. Take a look –
1. B Vitamins
All of the B vitamins are essential constituents of a healthy diet and play important role in maintaining optimal mental fitness.
B vitamins are obtained from a variety of foods such as whole grains (barley, brown rice), red as well as lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes (beans), seeds and nuts, dark leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli), citrus fruits and bananas.
A substantial lack of Vitamin B can cause fatigue, psychosis and confusion. Here is the entire list of all.
B1 (Thiamine) – A vital vitamin for the brain, Thiamine benefits emotional health and aids well-being.
It is extremely useful in improving focus and concentration. A deficiency in Vitamin B1 can result in nerve damage, brain damage and even death.
B2 (riboflavin) – Riboflavin boosts the functioning of the nervous system, making it a useful component in the treatment of several disorders such as depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease.
One study showed that treatment with riboflavin is helpful to individuals with psychiatric disorders.
B3 (niacin) – Vitamin B3 plays a key role in memory retention, thus boosting brain health. It aids the growth and repair of both nerve cells and DNA and hence protects the brain. It is necessary to consume Niacin daily, as its deficiency can cause confusion and dementia.
B5 (pantothenic acid) – Besides helping to produce neurotransmitters in the brain, Vitamin B5 is also beneficial in treating chronic stress and anxiety. It treats such serious mental problems by controlling the hormones that cause them.
B6 (Pyridoxine) – An essential nutrient for the proper maintenance of the nervous system, Vitamin B6 helps the brain to produce the four major mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
A deficiency in Vitamin B6 can cause problems such as irritability, depression, negative thinking, fatigue and nerve weakening.
B7 (biotin) – Not only it helps to improve on your concentration and outlook, Biotin keeps your nervous system functional by helping with neurotransmitter activity and with nerve signals. Vitamin B7 is essential in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
B9 (folate) – Vitamin B9 is critical for extracting energy from food, building vital molecules, and controlling the metabolism of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. It helps to alleviate depression, stress, and age-related mental decline.
B-12 – An important nutrient for mental health, B12 is responsible for several psychiatric conditions including mood balance, controlling emotional and mental energy, improving your concentration, and strengthening memory function.
Needless to mention, a lack of Vitamin B12 can cause severe anxiety and mood disorders.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays a powerful role in preventing and curing depression and anxiety. It is essential to consume vitamin C rich foods daily.
Major sources of Vitamin C are green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, citrus fruits such as oranges, green and red peppers, fortified cereals and strawberries.
An NCBI study found a link between Vitamin C and cognitive functioning, particularly in the elderly.
Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) deficiency, can lead to depressive and submissive
3. Vitamin D
This vital nutrient that functions just like a hormone, affects the proteins in your brain that influence everything from your mood to social behaviour. Vitamin D controls the release of dopamine and serotonin.
These neurotransmitters play a key role in controlling anxiety and depression. People with Vitamin D deficiency are more vulnerable to depression as well as ailments like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Vitamin D sources include fatty fish like salmon, dairy products, orange juice, cereals, cheese and egg yolk. Spending time in sun for about 30 mins daily is a great way to absorb Vitamin D.
There are two major forms of Vitamin D, namely D2 and D3 that are useful to human beings. D2 is synthesized by plants, while D3 is the sunshine vitamin.
4. Vitamin E
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E are linked with mental benefits. Vitamin E is seen to possess anti-inflammatory effects that combat chronic inflammation such as depression and anxiety.
Eating foods high in Vitamin E such as almonds can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive decline.
Almonds have always been a favorite pre-workout snack as they fuel your body and strengthen mind before doing vigorous workouts.
Besides almonds, other healthy foods that contain Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, avocado, dark leafy greens, fish and vegetable oils (sunflower, corn, soybean oils).
The most commonly used dietary supplements worldwide, multivitamins mainly contain several vitamins and minerals in varying forms and amounts.
These are available in a variety of forms such as capsules, powders, liquids and chewables. Pharmacies, supermarkets and online stores are inundated with different brands of multivitamins these days. Multivitamins are often safe to consume but it is always advisable to consult with a doctor before starting.
These are often prescribed to patients who are vegetarian or allergic to a food. Some vitamins are only found in meat sources.
After reading this up, I am sure you have made up your mind to include vitamins in your diet from now on.
Our mind governs everything! Isn’t the fact enough to make a promise to yourself?
I’d like to quote ‘Jeanne Moreau’ before I finish –
Vitamins aren’t to keep death at bay, they’re to keep deterioration at bay.Jeanne Moreau
Jenny is a creative writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She is currently also a prominent contributor to Meddentsafety. You can also follow her on Twitter.