How Do Minerals Affect Your Mood?

Wondering if minerals can help your mental health and mood? Minerals play an important role in keeping the systems of our body healthy and functioning at their best. This includes the nervous system and the endocrine system, both of which play a big role in how we think, feel and our mental well-being. The negative effects that come from having an unhealthy diet that lacks important minerals and nutrients can affect a person’s mood. 

The right balance of minerals can help improve and maintain mental health long term. Improvements in nutrition may reduce the risk or help prevent the progression of some psychiatric disorders. Consuming certain minerals and nutrients may influence a number of neurochemical brain activities and may help treat some mental disorders. 

The main function of minerals in the body

Minerals are nutrients that can be found in both animal and plant-based foods. The minerals people require in greater amounts are called macro-minerals. They are sulfur, magnesium, chloride, potassium, sodium, and calcium. Minerals that are needed in smaller amounts are called trace minerals. They include cobalt, copper, selenium, iron, iodine, manganese, and zinc. Both macro and trace minerals are needed to maintain healthy teeth, bones, and heart, but they are also crucial to maintaining brain health and the systems that contribute to our mood and mental state. 

How many minerals are in the human body?

To a large extent, the body doesn’t contain minerals. But it requires 102 different vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. If a person has too few of any of these elements it can have negative health effects. Having a balanced diet will normally provide all of the essential minerals the body needs. But the amount needed in the body doesn’t necessarily indicate their importance.

Which minerals regulate mood?

It all depends on each individual’s brain. Certain nutrients can have a profound effect on a healthy cognitive system and brain function that helps regulate mood. There’s been research over the years associated with vitamins and minerals that have identified 10 nutrients that help boost mood and combat depression. Six of them are essential minerals. Maintaining a diet that includes these minerals can help ward off depression and promote long-term happiness.

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B6
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

How can minerals improve mood?

Certain minerals, especially iron, magnesium, and zinc have important roles that support healthy neurological functions. Iron is crucial to several neurological functions and having a lack of iron can cause depression and anxiety symptoms. Having a deficiency of iron in the body can also cause developmental problems because of its role in getting oxygen to the brain. Magnesium contributes to the chemistry of the brain, and a lack of it may be linked to anxiety and depression. Zinc is involved in several brain chemistry functions and also supports the immune system. Deficiencies of zinc have been associated with symptoms of depression. Sometimes zinc supplements are prescribed along with antidepressants to help with the symptoms of depression.

How can a mineral deficiency affect moods in women?

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. Millions of adults have experienced at least one major depressive episode. Many of the highest rates are found among women and people of color. Even though it’s a common occurrence, it can be a serious mood disorder that should be taken seriously. 

Another mineral that has its highest concentration in the brain is zinc. Its role is essential to healthy brain function in women by helping regulate the body’s response to stress. It activates the peripheral and central nervous symptoms. It also acts as a neurotransmitter and hormonal transmitter. A deficiency in this mineral has been linked to eating disorders, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

What can you do to improve mood through minerals?

Sometimes, to elevate a person’s mood, they need to look no further than the supermarket or supplement shop. Consuming the right minerals and vitamins can lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Here are a few options to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of the right minerals to improve your mood. 

Calcium can be found in a number of sources (non-dairy included). Pairing calcium with Vitamin D can help regulate mood fluctuations. Consumption of calcium may improve PMS-related depression. Women should make sure they are getting the daily requirement of calcium because a deficiency affects more women than men.

Consuming chromium helps increase serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. This helps regulate mood and emotions. It has been found to be an effective supplement to help treat depression. 

Making sure there is enough iron in the diet is important to help prevent mood changes, apathy, and fatigue. This affects women more than men but it’s important for both to get the daily recommended amount to ward off anemia. Copper and Vitamin A are critical for helping the body utilize iron, so these are needed as well.

Magnesium is another element that plays several roles in the overall body’s health. By consuming magnesium you’re maintaining proper levels of serotonin which is a contributor to feelings of happiness and well-being. It’s a common element in some homeopathic treatments to help balance mood.

Getting enough zinc in your diet can have a positive effect on decreasing levels of depression and boosting your immune system. Vegetarians need to consume more and may need to take a supplement due to the fact that the body’s absorption rate for plant-based zinc is low. A lack of zinc in the system can trigger feelings of depression so it’s important to load up on foods rich in zinc. 

Lifestyle Changes Can Lead to Mood Improvements

Any diet that is high in processed foods, or is sugary or fatty is associated with poor brain health and depression. Consuming a balanced whole food diet is crucial to health and wellness. Maintaining the proper minerals in the body can have a positive effect on treating psychiatric disorders and proper brain function. 

There is now enough evidence to demonstrate that getting the proper minerals and vitamins on a daily basis can have a positive effect on mental and physical health. Any treatment for nutrition and diet should always begin with how it will positively not only affect the physical but the mental health of the individual.

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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