Vitamins can assist in helping many ailments, deficiencies and symptoms, but did you know that there are a certain few that are amazing for your mental health?
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16 per cent of adult New Zealanders have been diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point in their lives, and combed with a vitamin or mineral deficiency the problem can be exacerbated. While supplements can’t specifically treat conditions like depression or anxiety, they can provide an incredible boost to your recovery or ongoing mental health hence are a great healthy habit to establish in your daily routine.
Praised for their mood-boosting abilities, vitamin B is essential for our neurological complex and mental functions. According to Psychopharmacology magazine, taking a vitamin B complex supplement can not only improve your mood, but your long-term memory too. There is substantial evidence that high levels of vitamin B12 has specifically been associated with better mental health treatment outcomes.
In Australia and New Zealand you might be surprised to learn we aren’t getting enough sun exposure due to over-protecting ourselves with sunscreen. Combined with restrictive diets that exclude fatty fish and dairy products, which are rich sources of vitamin D, we have an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Unfortunately it’s not good news for our mental health because vitamin D is a key nutrient for the nervous and immune systems and low levels have been linked to depression. Thankfully, a vitamin D supplement has been found to supply optimum vitamin D levels so you can still protect yourself from the sun.
We’ve spoken previously about fish oil being great for your skin, but it’s also beneficial for brain health. It has also been linked to many clinical studies which suggest taking omega-3 supplements like fish oil or veggie omega-3 in conjunction with antidepressants for the ultimate response to treatment.
Bad night’s sleep? Magnesium is the ultimate vitamin for helping with sleep problems and it also works as a muscle relaxant so is wonderful for post-exercise recovery. Even if you don’t have trouble nodding off, research has indicated that 80 per cent of us are magnesium deficient which is reason enough to regularly take it in pill form. Did we mention it also helps control PMS?
Need yet another reason why you should take daily probiotics?From your weight to your brain, it’s hardly news that gut health is linked to every part of our body. New York City-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist and author of A Mind of Your Own, Kelly Brogan, MD, believes that gut inflammation strongly links to depression and probiotics should be taken daily. So, what’s the best way to correct an imbalance and restore your gut to optimum health?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits. It can reduce anxiety and stress, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men, and even boost brain function. Supplementing with ashwagandha may be an easy and effective way to improve your health and quality of life.
Rhodiola rosea, also known as golden root, rose root, or arctic root, is a plant from Siberia that grows well in dry and cold arctic climates. The medicinal compounds of rhodiola rosea come from the root of the plant and have been used to help treat occasional stress, anxiety, mental and physical fatigue, and depressed mood.
To know whether any of these vitamins are a supplement you should be taking daily, complete our online health assessment and get personalised recommendations here.