The Best Vitamins for Mental Health
Vitamins play a big role in our health. Many of them are essential for us to live. Which is why if you aren’t getting enough of a certain vitamin, your doctor will tell you to take a supplement. But did you know that many of these vitamins can actually help your mental health?
Whether you get them through other sources or take them as supplements, there are various vitamins that can be beneficial for mental health. And many of them are also helpful for parts of your physical health— and of course, mental and physical health are inextricable, so helping one often helps the other.
It’s important to note that there are a lot of false claims out there. If you see supplements claiming to be miracle pills or something similar, they’re probably not trustable. It’s best to do your own research, and make sure they have science behind them. But to save you some trouble, we’ve compiled this list of some of the best vitamins for mental health, according to science.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has long been agreed to be one of the best vitamins for depression. It plays an important role in regulating mood, and in brain and nerve health. Many experts agree that not getting enough vitamin D can make depressive symptoms worse.
So inversely, getting more vitamin D may help to alleviate some of its symptoms. There is also some research to suggest that it might help with anxiety, although nothing conclusive. Plus, it can boost parts of your physical health, including helping to fight disease.
Our bodies naturally produce this vitamin in response to sunlight, which is part of why it’s so important to get outside. It can also be found in some foods, like fatty fish. And of course, you can take vitamin D supplements.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fats are commonly found in fish or fish oil. Our bodies don’t produce this vitamin naturally, so it’s important for us to get it through our diets.
These fats are helpful to certain brain functions, and may even reduce inflammation associated with depression. They could help in combating both anxiety and depression, making them very good vitamins for mental health.
If you’re looking for vitamins for anxiety, magnesium is a good place to start. It also has benefits for nearly every bodily system, and is thus considered an essential vitamin to get enough of.
Multiple studies have found that it could be helpful in dealing with anxiety. It would not only help prevent it, but could actually lessen the symptoms of the condition. My psychiatrist would definitely agree, as this is one of my daily supplements.
Magnesium can be found in many foods, such as:
Cashews and almonds
To get more magnesium, you could shift your diet to include more foods high in this vitamin. Or, simply take magnesium supplements.
This is an amino acid that can be found in green and black teas, though is commonly used as a supplement. It’s believed that L-theanine can help in both stress relief and managing anxiety. It can help lower cortisol levels, which are part of stress responses.
Additionally, L-theanine can help increase and strengthen focus. It can also boost the immune system, something vital to staying healthy. If you want to take this vitamin, it will probably be easiest to take supplements. Consult your medical professional to see what dose would be best for you.
5. Vitamin B
There are actually eight different types of vitamin B. Taking a complex supplement, one that contains all types, ensures that you get the benefits of all of them.
These vitamins can help to manage many different bodily systems. Like L-theanine, they can also help lower stress levels. Studies have shown that having low levels of B vitamins can increase the risk of anxiety and depression. And other studies have shown that having more B vitamins can help manage anxiety symptoms.
You can usually get enough of these vitamins by eating a varied, well-balanced diet. But if you need more, you can always take supplements.
Improved mental wellness
These five vitamins are some of the best vitamins for mental health. There are others out there, but these have the most benefits and are the most commonly used. Many of them also have benefits for various aspects of your physical health too, so they are doubly as helpful.
If you are ever uncertain about taking a vitamin or supplement, it’s best to consult your doctor to see what options are best for you. While most of these vitamins don’t carry many risks, it never hurts to be cautious!
Do you know of other vitamins that are great for mental health? Other benefits for the ones we mentioned? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or tag us on social media (@therapeutichealingjourney on Instagram and @llctherapeutic on Twitter).