3 Key Nutrients for Better Mental Health
There are many aspects of mental health. It starts in the brain with your central nervous system and autonomic nervous system. But there’s also the enteric nervous system, which is your gut. What many people don’t realize is that a lot of emotional and mental challenges are related to this system. This is because what you absorb or don’t absorb affects your nervous system. What you absorb or don’t absorb also impacts inflammation, which greatly influences your mental health as well.
With all the systems and processes that affect mental health, it’s important that our bodies get the right nutrients. But there are a few key nutrients that tend to affect mental health more than others, and these include the following 3 below.
Omega-3 oils reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-6 oils, which are the trans fats, are man-made oils. Trans fats used to be celebrated as the oil that was going to take away heart attacks. But trans fats can actually cause heart disease because they cause inflammation.
When you consume trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils such as soybean oil and corn oil, and safflower and sunflower oils to a lesser extent, it sabotages your body’s ability to make omega-3 fats. Most people have too much omega-6 fats and too much arachidonic acid and linoleic acid. So if you don’t want to get Alzheimer’s or dementia, you want those oils minimized because they will cause inflammation in the body.
At our practice, we have the ability to test omega-3 and omega-6 levels. If you have too much omega-6, you will be inflamed. And if you don’t have enough DHA omega-3, you could have a depression challenge.
2. B vitamins
B vitamins help the nerves in your body. You don’t want raw nerves. If you don’t have enough B vitamins, your nerves are going to be raw and very excited. If you have a noise sensitivity, cry easily, have sore muscles after exercise, and mosquitoes like you, these are all signs of a B vitamin deficiency.
People who have anxiety usually need B vitamins, especially B1. They are typically uptight and oftentimes will have breathing challenges going on as well. Also, most people that are over 40 have a B12 deficiency.
On a blood test, we can look at your carbon dioxide, CO2, and if it is low, you probably need vitamin B1. We also have a heart sound recorder, and people that need B1 usually have a very wide first heart sound.
As far as vitamin B12, high uric acid, high MCH, high MCV, and low levels on the CBC blood test are signs of this type of deficiency. If your B12 is low, I recommend taking a B12 lozenge.
Additionally, a liver enzyme test can reveal a vitamin B6 deficiency. If your ALT and AST enzymes are deficient in the body, this indicates a B6 deficiency as well. A deficiency of B6 leads to a greater chance of inflammation and not enough DHA.
With B vitamins, it’s important to know that sugar takes them out of the body. By eliminating sugar, you can better cope with any physiological stress. Also, any medications you take for digestion will make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins such as B12 and minerals such as magnesium.
Zinc is important for part of your brain called the hippocampus. The oil metabolism in your body needs zinc along with B vitamins and magnesium to make the fat for your brain called DHA.
Large pores on your face, white spots on your nails, and being unable to fall asleep are all signs that you have a zinc deficiency. This deficiency can also be measured with the zinc taste test, as well as with an enzyme in a blood test called alkaline phosphate. If this number is below 50, you probably have a zinc deficiency.
Similar to B vitamins, taking a medication for digestion will also inhibit your body’s ability to absorb zinc. Stress will also hamper your ability to absorb zinc and other minerals.
Your road map to better mental health
Along with paying particular attention to the 3 nutrients above, I would like to offer a few basic guidelines for anyone who is looking to improve their mental health.
- I already mentioned the importance of omega-3s, but If you have any kind of potential mental health issue, get your omega oils tested.
- Get a thyroid panel. You’ll want to have TSH, T3, and T4 tested.
- Get your TPO tested. If your levels are elevated, chances are you’re eating too much bread or gluten.
- Find a skilled chiropractor in your area that takes films. These are a roadmap just like ZYTO technology is a roadmap.
- Reduce or eliminate sugar in your diet. (Including fruit!)
- Reduce unnecessary stress. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to go to bed by 10 o’clock.
About Dr. Bob DeMaria
Bob DeMaria is a chiropractor and natural health doctor with over 40 years of experience helping patients without prescribing drugs. He is the founder of The Drugless Doctors, a chiropractic and nutrition-based practice with locations in Ohio and Florida. Dr. Bob is also the author of 12 Books, including the upcoming ‘Dr. Bob’s Drugless Guide to Mental Health’. To learn more, visit his website at druglessdoctor.com.