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Supplements in Foods Help Mental Well Being


Everything we put in our body, including water, affects our biology and moods. Could the cure for depression and anxiety be as simple as a good diet? Science is now proving through extensive research that there is truth behind this statement. Brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine appear to be influenced by the foods we eat. Did you know a turkey sandwich can calm you down? How about a handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds to reduce anxiety? Are you feeling stressed? Then why not have tuna salad in an avocado or a handful of nuts?

Foods, Nutrients, and Supplements

Folic acid
Because folic acid is often deficient in people who experience depression, eating foods that contain this vitamin could help by reducing the high levels of homocysteine associated with depression. Leading food sources of folic acid include the following: asparagus, beets, spinach, peas, avocados, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, savoy, beans (dried), chick-peas, soybeans, lentils, oranges, turkey, and broccoli.

Tryptophan (amino acid)
Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is the precursor to serotonin, which is a necessary neurotransmitter responsible for transmitting nerve impulses in the brain. Leading food sources of tryptophan include the following: seafood, fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, low-fat dairy products, whole-grains, rice, beans, lentils, hummus, peanuts, hazel nuts sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, vegetables, and fruits, soy products (soy milk, tofu, soybean nuts).

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Zinc is an ion which plays a fundamental role in a wide range of biological processes, and is an essential component of various proteins as well as an important modulator in the mammalian central nervous system that helps fight off depression. Leading food sources of zinc are the following: oysters, turkey, shrimp, chicken, low-fat yogurt, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, soy nuts, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and lentils.

Based on niacin's well-recognized role in promoting sound nerve cell function, some experts recommend this B vitamin for relieving depression as well as feelings of anxiety and panic. Most B-vitamin complexes contain niacin in sufficient amounts for this purpose; they also offer the mood-enhancing benefits of other B vitamins. Leading food sources of niacin are the following: rice (brown), chicken, pomegranates, tuna, lamb, wheat, and turkey.

Omega-3 fatty acids
Certain omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for depression. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega 3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid that is the building block of human brain tissue. Low levels of DHA have been associated with depression. Leading food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include the following: salmon, trout, grilled albacore tuna, halibut, 4 oz of tofu, sardines, soybeans, cod, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

Magnesium is a mineral that may ease symptoms of depression by acting as a muscle relaxant. Leading food sources of magnesium include the following: chocolate, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds, buckwheat, barley, spinach, avocados, and oysters.

Inositol is believed to play an important role in the messenger system to which several key serotonin receptor subtypes are linked and may be very therapeutic agents in treating some psychiatric disorders. Leading food sources of inositol are the following: nuts, beans, wheat germ, cantaloupe, citrus, soy, eggs.



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