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Mood swings: 4 nutritional deficiencies that can affect your mood

Published on Sep 29, 2022 12:29 PM IST

Suffering from mood swings? You may be deficient in certain nutrients. A nutritionist offers tips.

Nutritionist and wellness expert Karishma Shah in her recent Instagram post talks about 4 kinds of nutritional deficiencies that can affect our mood.(Unsplash)
By, Delhi

You should probably listen to your mother when she tells you to eat homemade food instead of ordering from eatery - not just for a healthy body but also for balancing your mood and improving your mental health. Most mental health conditions from depression to anxiety are caused by inflammation in brain which causes the cells in the brain to die. The root of this inflammation is our gut when it lacks essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc which are also important to carry out important function in our body. Eating a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can keep your brain in top shape. (Also read: Mental health tips: How to avoid emotional highs and lows in post pandemic world)

Nutritionist and wellness expert Karishma Shah in her recent Instagram post talks about 4 kinds of nutritional deficiencies that can affect our mood.

"Did you know that your mood is closely connected to the nutrients you absorb? When patients with mood imbalances came to me for help, we always checked for nutrient deficiencies that could have been causing or contributing to the problem. Finding out what these nutrient deficiencies might be is the first step. Then you can learn the root causes of the deficiencies and begin restoring optimal levels with nutrient-rich foods and supplements such as omega-3, magnesium, vitamins B and K, and a high-quality multivitamin," writes Shah.

Here are 4 nutritional deficiencies you should watch out for if suffering from mood swings or any other mental health issue.


Oxidative stress plays a role in anxiety and depression, leading to inflammation, which disintegrates healthy brain function and causes poor mood. Origins include an inflammatory diet, especially excess sugar and refined carbs, processed foods, toxic fats, chemicals and stress. Antioxidants are found in the colourful range of vegetables and fruits.


A zinc deficiency changes the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Deficiency causes include poor digestion, and deficiencies in the soil and diet. Foods high in zinc are oysters and shellfish, chicken, almonds, spinach, cacao (raw).

Vitamin B6

It is one of the most important vitamins for mental health because it's a cofactor in the key mood neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA and dopamine. A deficiency can cause anxiety, depression, irritability, confusion, fatigue and PMS. A Vitamin B6 deficiency can be due to some drugs malabsorption and alcoholism. Vitamin B6 is found in wild-caught seafood and meat, beans, nuts, organ meat and leafy greens.

Excess copper

This can create neurotransmitter imbalances, lowering dopamine and increasing norepinephrine. This can lead to postpartum depression and other mental health problems. Copper stimulates brain activity, causing a racing mind feeling and anxiety.

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