8 Nutritional deficiencies linked to mood swings  

Vitamin D: – Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with a higher risk of mood disorders, including depression and mood swings. Vitamin D is important for brain health, influencing neurotransmitters and neuroplasticity. Sunlight exposure is a primary source, but it can also be obtained from foods like fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and supplements.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: – These essential fatty acids are crucial for brain health and are linked to cognitive function and mood regulation. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been correlated with increased risk of mood disorders. Omega-3s can be found in fish like salmon and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, and supplements.

Magnesium: – Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions, including those important for neurotransmitter function. Deficiency can lead to anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Magnesium-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

B Vitamins: – Several B vitamins, especially B12, B6, and folate (B9), are vital for mood regulation and nerve function. Deficiencies can lead to mood swings, fatigue, and cognitive impairment. Foods rich in B vitamins include meats, eggs, dairy, legumes, seeds, and dark leafy greens.

Iron deficiency, which leads to anemia, can result in fatigue, irritability, and mood swings. The brain uses iron to make dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in mood and emotions. Rich sources of iron include red meat, poultry, seafood, and fortified cereals. Plant-based sources like lentils and spinach are also good but are better absorbed when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods. 

Zinc is essential for neurotransmitter function and brain health. Deficiencies can cause mood swings, lethargy, and irritability. Zinc is abundant in foods like beef, shellfish, legumes, nuts, and seeds. 

Iodine is crucial for thyroid function, which regulates metabolism, growth, and development. A poorly functioning thyroid can lead to mood swings and depression. Iodine-rich foods include iodized salt, seafood, dairy products, and seaweed. 

Selenium plays a role in antioxidant defense and is important for mental health. Low selenium levels are associated with poorer mood. Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, and meats. 

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