It has long been known that optimal health depends upon…adequate nutrition. For more than a decade, research into nutrition has been playing a key role in mental health. Essential vitamins and minerals are vital inputs for many processes in every cell in our bodies, so when one nutrient is deficient, it can cause problems in multiple body systems and lead to disease.
For example, if iron is low in your body, it will affect a whole range of metabolic processes. This can cause problems because two important neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin, can no longer be produced. Serotonin helps to keep our mood even and melatonin helps us to sleep restfully. This explains, in part, why iron deficiency leads to symptoms like feeling weak and tired, feeling grumpy, having headaches, and having a hard time concentrating or thinking. So you can see how a single nutrient deficiency can have a large effect on many systems of the body.
Some of the vital nutrients for the brain include proteins for healthy neurotransmitters and complex carbohydrates for brain power. Vitamin B is good for eliminating stress and for boosting brain function, intelligence, memory and mood. Vitamin C and magnesium are good for improving sleep, concentration, focus and mood. The list is endless but suffice to say that nutrition researchers give compelling evidence for the critical role of nutrition in mental health and why this knowledge will revolutionize the way our society treats mental health.