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Nutrients are so important for our bodies and brains to function properly. And when it comes to mental health, certain vitamins and minerals can play a major role. In this article, I explain one of the most common causes of depressive symptoms, as well as what I believe to be the 2 best trace minerals for depression support.
No one deserves to feel tired, down, edgy, and not enjoying life all of the time. And it doesn't have to be that way. Hope is possible, and it just might come in the form of two important nutrients.
In this article, I will cover...
- How insulin can be at the root of the problem.
- The 2 best minerals for depression.
- Why keto and intermittent fasting can also help.
- Other common causes of low mood like vitamin deficiencies.
- The bottom line.
Let's get started by looking at insulin. Did you know that problems with insulin and blood sugar can actually lead to symptoms of depression?
Insulin resistance as a root cause of depression
Insulin resistance is a very common condition. It is caused by unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits.
When we eat lots of sugary foods, we trigger insulin to be produced by the pancreas. The same happens when we eat foods that turn into sugar, like carbs. Over a long period of time, your body can't handle having to produce so much insulin. And the pancreas gets overloaded. Eventually, this leads to something called insulin resistance. Learn all about insulin resistance here.
When we develop insulin resistance, we end up with high levels of insulin and low levels of blood sugar. That is called hypoglycemia.
Unfortunately, the brain is the #1 target for hypoglycemia. Why? Because the brain depends on glucose for fuel. It does not store sugar to be used for fuel later like your muscles or your liver do. Your brain relies on the sugar in your blood.
So when you are insulin resistant and have low sugar, the brain suffers big time. It is starved of the fuel it needs. And as a result? Your mood goes straight down.
The symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- Feeling down.
- Mental sluggishness.
When our blood sugar drops, our brain lacks the fuel it needs and we get symptoms that can mimic depressive symptoms.
I believe most mood disorders are related to a low blood sugar situation. And problems with insulin are at the root. Learn more about this link here.
Insulin resistance also prevents your body from absorbing amino acids well. Those are building blocks needed to make neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA regulate your mood. Without them, your mood can get all out of balance. So that is another reason why insulin resistance can affect mood disorders and make you feel worse.
So what can you do about it? How can you help this problem? You'll need to improve your insulin function, take the pressure off of the pancreas, and stabilize your blood sugar.
One way to do just that is by feeding your body with two important minerals.
Top 2 best trace minerals for depression
Having a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to depressive symptoms and mental health issues. And there are many nutrients (including vitamins and minerals) that can help improve your mood through various mechanisms.
To address the problem with insulin resistance in particular, I believe there are two nutrients that top the charts and can be the most useful. These nutrients help to fix problems with blood sugar and insulin. And as a result, they can support improving your mood.
In my opinion, the two best minerals for depression support are:
If you search the literature on these nutrients, you will find a lot of information. There is a good amount of data linking both chromium and zinc to depression. But what this information most often doesn't tell you is why. Why are these two minerals so helpful?
The reason these trace elements are so effective is that they are both intimately involved with regulating blood sugar and insulin.
Let's take a closer look at both of them.
Chromium is a trace element that is very good for stabilizing blood sugar. That is why I include chromium in my Blood Sugar Support Formula. Lots of people who have diabetes take chromium and do quite well with it.
This mineral supplement can help to keep your blood sugar more level. Which in turn can help prevent the symptoms of low blood sugar that could be showing up as depression.
If you want to try taking chromium, try 600 mcg per day.
This mineral is necessary for the production of insulin. In fact, you will find that the most zinc in the body is found in the pancreas, where insulin is made. The cells that make insulin absorb zinc and rely on it to function well. That makes this mineral great for improving insulin function.
Try taking 30 mg of zinc per day and see how you do.
Learn more about zinc in this three-part series.
Taking these two mineral supplements can support your body in regulating blood sugar. And as a result, it might have some positive benefit when it comes to your mood, too.
Keto and intermittent fasting can also help
For depression, I find that the two minerals listed above are very helpful. When you combine those minerals with the keto diet and intermittent fasting? Even better.
That is because both keto and intermittent fasting help to bring down insulin. And getting insulin to function properly again is key. The basis of keto is eating low-carb and high-fat foods. Cutting back on carbs helps to lower insulin and bring your blood sugar back into balance.
To learn more about this way of eating and Healthy KetoTM, go here.
Consider the keto diet eating plan to help boost your mood. You might be surprised by how much changing your diet can help.
Other possible causes of depression
Is your blood sugar under control and insulin function just fine? Then there may be something else at the root of your mood problems.
Brain function and mental health are dependent on many nutrients. And deficiencies in different areas can take a toll on your nervous system.
Consider these other common causes if you are still suffering.
- Deficiency in vitamin B12.
- Deficiency in vitamin D.
- Deficiency in vitamin B1.
- Low intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
- High levels of cortisol.
Learn more about these common causes in this video. Making sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients is key. That can help prevent symptoms of mental illness and get you feeling more like yourself.
The bottom line
I believe that low blood sugar is often the true cause of mood disorders. And that insulin resistance is the real culprit. So if you want to start feeling like yourself again, you'll want to address that.
To review, when we develop insulin resistance, we end up with low blood sugar. And since our brain cells rely on blood sugar, our brain ends up starved of the fuel it needs. With our brains suffering, we can end up with mental health and mood issues.
Low blood sugar can often be camouflaged as things like depression and anxiety.
To fix these problems and to get your mood lifted again, there are a few things you can do to help.
- First, I recommend two minerals as dietary supplements. Try chromium and zinc, and see if your mood goes up. I recommend trying 600 mcg of chromium and 30 mg of zinc daily.
- Second, keto and intermittent fasting are worth your while. These patterns of eating can do wonders for your blood sugar and can help out your mood, too. Eat very little carbs, moderate protein, and lots of healthy fats.
- Finally, consider other common causes of depression. Low levels of certain vitamins and micronutrients might be to blame. Consider supplementing with things like vitamin D and B vitamins.
It is no fun at all to feel down, sluggish, and unable to enjoy yourself all of the time. You don't need to keep suffering. So give these things a try. You might just notice a significant difference.
Have you ever tried these minerals for depression? What were your results like? Share your thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment below.