Blake Graham, a clinical nutritionist who specializes in integrative nutritional and environmental medicine, believes that if your emotional state is not what you would like it to be, the answer may partly lie in your diet. Blake Graham is owner of the Nutritional Healing website in Australia and publishes a newsletter that you can subscribe to.
Blake says that our emotional health is strongly related to our brain health and chemistry. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood, are made from amino acids. These chemical pathways also require vitamins and minerals as cofactors for their normal function.
The brain requires a healthy supply of vitamins and nutrients in order to function properly. Nearly every vitamin and/or mineral deficiency can cause psychiatric symptoms: depression, anxiety, irritability, and low stress tolerance.
Back in the 1970s scientists would study nutrient deficiency by depriving their study patients of certain nutrients. Because of ethical reasons though this was stopped. Psychiatric symptoms were often found during these studies.
Vitamins and minerals are required for normal productions of hormones, cellular energy, neurotransmitters, antioxidants, DNA and digestive substances. According to Graham:
“When these are not synthesized in optimal levels, our health and mood are subsequently affected. Deficiencies of key vitamins and minerals are found in significant numbers of people with altered mood states. For example folate deficiency is present in 17% to 31% of major depression patients. Correcting these imbalances is in the persons best interests.
As a secondary consideration, supplements of specific vitamins and minerals may have a pharmacological effect in improving mood. For example, in the absence of nutrient deficiencies, boosting antioxidant status via vitamins C and E, and utilizing high dose vitamin B6 supplements to enhance neurotransmitter pathways, are examples of therapeutic applications of vitamin/mineral supplements.”
If you feel your emotional balance is off, improving your diet is one positive step you can take. You may also wish to see a health professional who works in the field of nutritional medicine, who can develop an individualized program of dietary and nutrient supplement recommendations for you.