Low energy, lack of motivation, a general ennui. During the winter these symptoms of mild or moderate depression can be exacerbated due to the shorter days, more time spent indoors, and less physical activity. They may also signal a nutritional imbalance. Researchers are more convinced than ever about the role nutrition plays in mental health.
A balanced diet should provide the nutrients we need for optimal physical and mental functioning, but factors including soil nutrient depletion and food processing can have an impact on how much we get of the vitamins and minerals we need. Meanwhile, aging, illness, certain medications, alcohol use, and stress can affect how much of them the body absorbs. For example, recent research shows that significant changes in the gut microbiome as we age can dramatically reduce our ability to absorb nutrients. In other words, the same diet over time may provide fewer nutrients where we need them most, in the brain.
Fortunately, readily available nutritional supplements can bridge these gaps—and may bolster mood at the same time. If you are not already taki …
Kelle Walsh is a journalist who specializes in health reporting and editing, and strives to apply what she learns in her work toward the ongoing goal of creating a balanced, vibrant, health-promoting life—allowing for good wine and organic potato chips, of course.