Nutritional Deficiencies

The Effect of Nutrition on Mental Health Problems

Taking a look at the link between nutrition and mental health

Our minds and bodies are intricately connected. While mental health issues can have a variety of origins, including genetic, environmental, and age-related causes, nutritional intake is a basic factor that we can look to for answers around mental health and overall wellness. Part of daily self-care is making sure we’re eating a variety of wholesome and healthy foods. Consuming enough fruits, vegetables, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats are essential for proper brain functioning. However, many of us overlook simple things like our diet when we’re scrambling to find a reason for mental health ailments such as anxiety and depression. Here, we’ll look at some common nutritional deficiencies that have been linked to mental health issues.

Amino Acids

Amino acids, as you probably know, are known as the building blocks of life. If you’re eating a variety of protein, you’re probably getting enough amino acids. A lack of amino acids leads to low neurotransmitters in the brain, which are vital for a stable mood and healthy brain functioning. Depression, anxiety, and stress have been linked to low levels of amino acids.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3’s are known for their positive impact on the brain. They’re found in fish oil, fish, seeds, and supplements that are available in algae-based vegetarian form. Anxiety and depression are linked to low levels of Omega-3.


Zinc is a necessary mineral for proper brain functioning. Low levels of zinc are often found in people suffering from depression and anxiety. Foods high in zinc include oysters, nuts and seeds, and beans. 

This list is by no means comprehensive. These are just a few of the many necessary nutrients for optimal mental health. Other important nutritional considerations include B12, B6, magnesium, healthy cholesterol levels, vitamin D, and an overall balanced diet. 


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