If like me you like in the wonderfully grey city such as London; full of grey skies, grey buildings and grey pavements.... you (may also like me) enjoy those beautiful rays light and pops of colour that come in the shape of flowers, park walks, trees, green spaces, murals and the like.
The best nutritionists of the world tell us that we should eat all of the colours of the rainbow as foods so that we take in all of our needed nutrients in a balanced and varied diet.... but frankly there are too many colours to fit on the plate!
So to do our bit for our health, most of us will turn to vitamins and supplements, but we're you aware that a deficiency in one of these might be a contributory factor in your anxiety or depression???
Let's take a look :
Lets start with Vitamin D
There are vitamin D receptors throughout the body and brain. Some of these live in the parts which influence your mood, alertness levels, motivation, memory and pleasure.
Key to both A & D (Anxiety and Depression) Vitamin D is important as it regulates the genes that make the feel-good chemicals in the brain- serotonin and oxytocin.
Vitamin D plays a huge influence in over a thousand of your genes that regulate mood, sleep and key parts of the nervous system.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include:
depression, anxiety, irritability and fatigue.
Similar to Vitamin D, B12 also helps with the key parts of the nervous system aa as regulating the mood-boosting brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.
B12 also helps with the as well as stress hormones but it functions at a very different level.
Also detoxifies the brain of the neurotoxin that is specifically linked to depression.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include:
Fatigue, brain fog, numbness and tingling, shortness of breath.
Your brain typically has about x100 times more of this than your body and so like its friend B12 is therefore vital in mental health function.
Again, it also aids the feel-good chemicals and helps overall mood issues.
Symptoms of B6 Deficiency may include:
Issues with absorption and kidney issues.
Is often spoken about within Mental Health fields as Natures answer to mood stabilisation.
Unlike Vitamin D where many people (especially of colour) could be deficient- its pretty uncommon with magnesium.
Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency include:
low can include fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and mood changes.
This trace mineral has various vital roles with brain function.
Zinc makes sure that Vitamin B6 works effectively in making feel-good chemicals.
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency Include;
Loss of appetite or taste, loss of temper, and depression
Its uncommon to have deficiency as most people get enough zinc from their diet- however vegatarians, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people with gastrointestinal disease are the most likely to have this issue.
Iron regulates the oxygen around both the bodyband brain.
Besides regulating oxygen delivery throughout the body and brain, iron helps to create balance in the mood regulating hormones too.
Iron deficiency is pretty common place;
fertile women, the elderly, and vegans are most likely to have issues with iron levels.
Symptoms of an iron deficiency can include: fatigue, difficulty concentrating and dizziness.
Vital in brain cell communication, cell health and therefore also brain function, Omega 3 has become more popular in recent years.
Key to cell health - its also an aid for mood too.
Symptoms of an omega-3 deficiency can include:
mood issues, often accompanied by dry skin, fatigue, allergies and chronic thirst.
If you think you may have an issue related to the above, consult your doctor to have tests carried out to check if you have any deficiencies in any of these and they will be best placed to prescribe you a dose that will help.
In the case of deficiencies it might also mean you require specifically higher dose than can be bought over the count, and your gp can map your progress once you start taking these to make sure they're having the desired effect and that there are no issues with absorption etc too.
Your doctor can also run tests on your hornones etc to check your stress levels which can also effect how much of the above are being used by your body and can contribute to having lower levels too.
Sources; NHS Health, Dr Kraker & Naturopath 2020.