Omega-3 for depression and magnesium to calm anxiety… expert reveals the 7 key nutrients to boost your mental health – and where to find them

Mental Health

Many of you ask me what types of vitamins or supplements you should take for your mental health. According to Dr Jerome Sarris, a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, omega-3 fatty acids; N-acetyl cysteine (NAC); S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe); zinc; magnesium; vitamin D; and B vitamins (including folic acid) are the best supplements for your mental health. Below is an excerpt of his Daily Mail article.


What we eat is vital to our overall health.
The nutrients we consume, as part of our diet, are critical for brain structure and function.
And, as a result they have a potentially profound impact on our mental health, Jerome Sarris, a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne writes for The Conversation.
An increasingly robust body of research points to the detrimental effect of unhealthy diets and nutrient deficiencies.
And it highlights the protective value of healthy diets – along with select nutritional supplements as required – for maintaining and promoting mental health.
Research literature suggests dietary improvement and nutritional interventions may help reduce the risk, or even arrest the progression, of certain psychiatric disorders.
Clinical studies support the use of certain nutrients, which influence a range of neurochemical activities beneficial for treating mental disorders, as medicinal supplements.
Evidence from clinical research supports the use of several nutritional medicines for certain psychiatric disorders: omega-3 fatty acids; N-acetyl cysteine (NAC); S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe); zinc; magnesium; vitamin D; and B vitamins (including folic acid).
Other natural compounds such as amino acids, plant-based antioxidants and microbiotics – derived from fermented food or laboratory synthesis – are also known to influence brain health.
But while some evidence supports the idea these natural compounds have brain chemical-modulating effects, or a role in treating certain mental disorders, we cannot currently name particular foods as being effective for the treatment of mental illness.
The best nutritional advice at this point is to cultivate an unprocessed wholefood diet, with judicious prescriptive use of nutrients – if required – based on advice from a qualified health professional.

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