Important nutrients to boost energy and mood

Vitamins&MineralsLREven the most miniscule of the many vitamins and minerals play a role in aiding the optimal functioning of our bodies.

But here are a few primary nutrients that have a profound impact on maintaining normal brain function and thus our mood and energy levels.

And it is quite well known to many of us by now that the result of modern industrial farming and food processing is depletion of vital nutrients in the soil and right up through the food chain.

That’s why it is so important for ourselves and our families to understand the enormity of the unseen health work undertaken by these essential nutrients, and take whatever supplemental steps are necessary to ensure we have sufficient levels of the nutrients we need—especially if our main diet is SAD (Standard American Diet).

Magnesium, for example, is a multi-tasker if there ever was one, performing more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Numerous studies have found that sufficient magnesium levels ward off depression and migraines and help us have age-appropriate levels of energy. Many foods contain magnesium, including nuts, seeds, bananas, berries, grapefruit, dark chocolate, figs and yogurt.

Calcium is another major mineral, greatly important not only for building strong bones and teeth, but it is required for the efficient functioning of heart, muscles and nervous system. Calcium is plentiful in leafy greens, oranges, seaweed, dairy, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., but be aware that pesticides and genetically modified produce may deplete or interfere with your body’s uptake of needed nutrients. Eat organic when you can and buy dairy not treated with growth hormones.

Vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin is very unique. It is both a vitamin and a natural hormone, and up to 75 percent of modern consumers in Western countries are deficient in it (leading cause is indoor lifestyles), even though, according to researchers, 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight exposure (without sunscreen) to the skin a few times a week will ‘stock up’ most people. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to mood disorders and depression. Vitamin D works with calcium to perform cell strengthening. It is naturally found in oily fish, egg yolks and very few other foods.

Chromium is a ‘mood’ mineral many folks never heard of, and is particularly lacking in the modern diet. Yet it plays a vital role in increasing the brain’s levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin, which regulate emotion and mood and help us sleep. It is found in broccoli, potatoes, garlic, basil and green beans.

Zinc is an essential mineral found in nearly every cell of the body. Low levels lead to numerous ailments, including mental lethargy and depression. Foods containing zinc include nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, cheese, oatmeal, beef and others.

There are other nutrients, such as the B vitamins and omega-3 essential fatty acids that are necessary for efficient brain function. Those have been addressed in the past on this website and will be covered again.

One small warning—don’t overdo the sun exposure and don’t fill up on synthetic calcium from supermarkets. And don’t underestimate the nutrients.

Eat whole food, even though it may be imperfect, and should you need to supplement, choose whole food supplements.


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