Let's face it -- most of us would rather not be on a diet. Watching what you eat can take a toll on your mood, which sends many dieters reaching for a bag of potato chips for an instant pick-me-up. However, there may be more to a person's bad mood than simply missing potato chips, candy, and other foods that are banned from most diets.
While there is always the possibility that people with a bad temper are just jerk's, the reality is that there are links between mood and nutritional deficiency. Studies have shown that your food choice can impact your serotonin levels, which is a natural chemical reaction in your brain that gives your mood a boost.
But what are the links between nutritional deficiency and mood, and is there any way to break the cycle?
What is a Nutritional Deficiency?
A nutritional deficiency is the result of not getting the proper nutrients that the body needs to perform its best. Also known as malnutrition, a nutritional deficiency can occur in adults when they do not receive the right amount of vitamins and nutrients from their daily food intake.
There are many obvious physical symptoms that point to the possibility of nutritional deficiency, however, there is another symptom that is invisible to the naked eye and can make people feel depressed - or even just act like a complete jerk.
Understanding the Link Between Mood and Nutritional Deficiency
Did you know that an estimated one billion people have a vitamin D deficiency? There are specific nutritional deficiencies that can put people in a foul mood, and lack of vitamin D is one of the most recognized symptoms.
It's believed that vitamin D plays a role in your mood and temper, but researchers have been unable to pinpoint the exact reason. One study suggests that vitamin D impacts serotonin levels and the way that nerve receptors move information through the brain.
A separate study from the Netherlands found that low levels of vitamin D correlates with symptoms of major depression. Furthermore, another study indicates that adults who received high doses of vitamin D felt significantly less depressed over a period of two weeks.
According to these studies, vitamin D is important for balancing our mood and keeping temper in check. But what about other nutrients?
3 Other Nutritional Deficiencies That Can Affect Mood
It's hard to argue that researchers are connecting the dots between depression and vitamin D. However, there are other nutritional deficiencies that can impact a person's mood and temper.
These deficiencies include:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids is a healthy nutrient that is primarily found in fish oils. A Norwegian study concluded that those who consumed cod liver oil were 30% less likely to experience depression symptoms and mood swings.
Magnesium is responsible for regulating over 300 different enzymes in the human body. If you have a magnesium deficiency, you can experience a variety of symptoms ranging from muscle cramps to anxiety. Studies have shown that the body uses extra magnesium under stress, which can lead to feeling on edge.
Iron deficiencies can cause all kinds of mood and psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, mental disturbances, and even restless leg syndrome. You can improve iron deficiencies in your diet by eating foods such as meat, potatoes, broccoli, strawberries, pumpkin, and more.
How to Control Your Temper Through Supplements
There is a wide range of vitamins and dietary supplements on Netrition.com to help keep nutritional deficiencies at bay.
For example, our Floradix Iron Tablets help maintain healthy iron levels. We also carry Best Brain Magnesium to help sharpen your focus, memory, and attention span. There are also plenty of Omega-3 options, with one of the best being Ultra Pure Omega-3.
Browse our Online Store for More Dietary Supplements
The reality is that you might not be getting all of the nutrients you need from your food. Browse our online store here on Netrition, and discover the hundreds of supplements that we have to help you look and feel your best.
1. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses
2. News Medical: What is Serotonin?
3. HealthLine: Nutritional Deficiencies (Malnutrition)
4. The New England Journal of Medicine: Vitamin D Deficiency
5. Vitamin D Council: Depression
6. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Distribution of the vitamin D receptor and 1 alpha-hydroxylase in human brain
7. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Randomized comparison of the effects of the vitamin D3 adequate intake versus 100 mcg (4000 IU) per day on biochemical responses and the wellbeing of patients
8. University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 fatty acids
9. Life Extension: Fighting Depression and Improving Cognition with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
10. National Institutes of Health: Magnesium
11. Psychology Today: Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill
12. CalmClinic: Does Magnesium Work For Anxiety?
13. LiveStrong: Can Iron Deficiency Cause Psychological Problems?
14. WebMD: Iron-Rich Foods