Nutrition and Mental Health

 

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Mental health problems are quite pervasive in our society. For example, it has been found that generalized anxiety disorder may have a lifetime prevalence rate of about 5% in the population (). And that is only one of the 52 disorders classified on that website. I’m not going to deal with such specific diseases, but mostly with general mood and mental energy issues – especially because the importance of food and nutrition for mental health can be considerable.

Let’s take a look at the known mental health effects of vitamin deficiencies. Such information has been around for quite a long time. Although I usually focus on whole foods, this time I thought it was time we put this scientific information detail together as much as possible, so here goes. First, a look at vitamin deficiencies.

– A deficiency of the B vitamins (thiamine, niacin, biotin, B6, folic acid, and B12), most commonly found in whole grains and in animal protein, can cause a great deal of trouble. Lack of thiamine, for example, may bring beriberi, the classic disease resulting from the extensive use of polished rice, and which includes damage to the nervous system, apathy, poor short term memory, confusion, and irritability.

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