• Vitamin B12 and D: Not getting enough Vitamin B12 leads to fatigue, lethargy, depression, poor memory and is associated with mania and psychosis. Sources include dairy products, eggs, fish, meat and poultry.
Deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with depression. Most Vitamin D comes from sun exposure, not food! However, food sources with notable amounts of Vitamin D include: fatty fish (e.g, salmon, mackerel, sardines); eggs; and fortified foods (e.g., milk, cereal, orange juice, yogurt).
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of mood disorders and brain diseases by enhancing brain function and preserving the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells. Good sources include: salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel; flaxseed/flaxseed oil; chia seeds; and walnuts.
• Protein: It plays an important part of your cell structure, function, and regulation as well as fuel. The body uses a protein called tryptophan to manufacture serotonin, “the feel good hormone.” Protein-rich foods include beef, poultry, fish, pork and meats, as well as plant-based foods such as tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nutritional yeast, beans and lentils.
• Zinc: This mineral is essential for brain function and cellular processes, including thinking and feeling. While our understanding is continually being clarified, an inverse relationship between zinc levels and depressive symptoms exists. For those being treated for depression with antidepressants, zinc supplementation was found to be more effective than prescribed medications alone. Zinc is present in: whole grains, oysters, beef, chicken, beans, pork and pumpkin seeds.