Whenever there is a conversation about vitamins, the leading health benefits typically center around body function and increasing our organs’ energy and performance levels. However, did you know there are many ways that vitamins help to regulate healthy moods? You can use vitamins to help with mental and emotional deficiencies and maintain a positive outlook when it comes to dealing with your own mental health. There are specific vitamins for happiness that we will discuss in this article.
Vitamins are an essential part of helping improve your mood because they provide a natural way to remedy specific ailments. Additionally, vitamins can be added to your diet by way of eating particular foods and/or using supplements. You have an opportunity to cater a routine that is specific to your needs and implement it into your daily life as you see fit.
If you are interested in taking a holistic approach to happiness, vitamins can be a great ally. When you have a well-rounded lifestyle but still feel like something is missing, or there are a few dots that you are struggling to connect, sometimes a boost from the inside out can help bridge those gaps. Remember that even the most disciplined person will have times when their routine is compromised beyond their control. If you worry that you aren’t able to get the vitamins, you need from your diet, and this regularly affects your mood, then using vitamins can keep your health on track.
Vitamins for happiness:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D supports a healthy immune system, assists with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients, and is a large part of having healthy bones and teeth. Additionally, vitamin D can affect your mood, and a vitamin D deficiency can create mood swings. In certain regions of the world where sunlight is not part of the year-round climate, people can develop what is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to not getting enough sun and natural light each day.
A vitamin D supplement can help combat the symptoms of SAD and treat depression that can occur as a result of this disorder. Using vitamin D to support happiness is an excellent way to regulate mood fluctuations attributed to the absence of this vitamin in your diet, lifestyle, or geographical location.
How does it help?
If you are in a situation where there is a lack of sunshine, vitamin D is the perfect solution for you. Of course, a supplement will not provide you with the same tangible warmth as the sun would, but when your options are to use a supplement or go without, you should use a supplement. Vitamin D can also help by preventing such dramatic changes in mood.
Vitamin D rich foods
A supplement can be an effortless way to get more vitamin D, but if you would rather eat your vitamins, here are a few foods to consider.
- Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Egg yolks: Pasture-raised eggs typically have the highest levels
- Mushrooms: The best plant source of this vitamin
2. Vitamin B3
Also commonly referred to as niacin can help significantly with cholesterol levels and other cholesterol-related issues. Not getting enough B vitamins each day can prevent you from maintaining normal brain function and accelerate the onset of depressive symptoms. While no vitamin can act as a cure-all, some studies have reported signs of decreasing depressive symptoms by adding in more vitamin B3 via supplements or nutrition.
How does it help?
In terms of depression and anxiety, vitamin B3 can be hugely beneficial in helping to promote healthy sleep hygiene. It can dilate red blood cells and create a sensation of warmth that is conducive to a proper sleep cycle. When our minds and bodies are properly rested consistently, our moods have a better chance of remaining positive.
Foods rich in vitamin B3
3. Fish oils
The omega-3 fatty acids that you get from adding fish oils into your diet have so many benefits. The fatty acids in this nutrient can help to reduce inflammation which can be associated with certain mood disorders. Fish oils support brain health and have yielded promising results for those who struggle with postpartum depression and attention deficit disorder. These pills can be great for those who find that they have a picky palate. Since fish is considered to be one of the most acquired tastes on the food pyramid, fish oil pills are a way to help people who want the benefits but cannot stomach the seafood.
How does it help?
Stress, mood disorders, and depression can be directly linked to nutrition in many cases. The benefits from fish oils and the fatty acid found within them can lower levels of irritability and reduce brain fog. This can help regulate brain function as well. When our minds are full of the good stuff, there is less room for the negative to creep in. Fish oils take up space and work for you, instead of against you, in terms of happiness and an even-keeled mindset.
Nutritious foods with omega-3 fatty acids
- Flax seeds
- Soybean oil
- Chia seeds
4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K can work wonders towards creating and maintaining a happy and healthy gut. Many of the symptoms that pop up and attempt to sabotage our health and happiness start in the gut. Vitamin K can help you with a plan for regulating mood and improving the immune system. This vitamin is commonly associated with helping to prevent blood clots, but there are some mental and emotional benefits to take advantage of as well.
This vitamin is best absorbed with fatty acids, so if you are thinking of going the supplement route, be advised of what you should do to create the best possible environment for your vitamin K to thrive in. While it is rare to have a deficiency of this essential vitamin, it is possible. You can offset that possibility by including certain foods, specifically those with omega-3 fatty acids, into your rotation.
How does it help?
Digestive issues can take so much joy out of life. It does not matter if you have an under or overreactive system. Either way, when your body physically prevents you from living your life on your own terms, that can quickly lead to depression.
The benefits of vitamin k can promote a situation where digestion is regulated to the point that unpredictability and gut issues are eliminated, which is a huge reason why sufferers feel they have to decline invitations. Getting control of your bodily functions back can also increase your social confidence.
Foods high in vitamin K
- Turkey sausage
- Green leafy vegetables
5. Vitamin C
This vitamin works hard to act as the primary protector of your neurons, which are the cells that make up both your brain and nervous system. Since vitamin C works hard to decrease inflammation in the brain, your brain function increases when you have the appropriate levels of vitamin C in your body. Calcium deficiency affects your ability to have a healthy cognitive system and can also lead to behavioral abnormalities.
When people are experiencing a deficiency in this area, the brain’s mood regulators can waiver, resulting in feelings of both fatigue and depression. Since this vitamin is working to create and protect a healthy cognitive system, you can imagine that its absence will leave you vulnerable. A known antioxidant, vitamin C, can help to eliminate the elements within your body that are blocking your brain function.
How does it help?
A weakened immune system can create feelings of lethargy and depression, two cyclical feelings that can envelop you if you are not careful. Everything suffers when your body does not have what it needs to convince your mind that it can do something. When there is oxidative damage in the brain, you are more susceptible to things like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Vitamin C can promote proper oxidation and work to ensure healthy blood vessels in the brain.
Foods high in vitamin C
- Citrus fruits
- Brussels sprouts
- Red cabbage
Folate is a member of the B vitamin family and is considered water-soluble. While this is naturally present in many foods, supplements can also be added to the diet. People who have documented occurrences of depression may experience symptoms during times when this particular nutrient is noticeably low. Folate is an important part of the creation of both dopamine and serotonin, essential chemicals for happiness.
In some cases, when people report having an unfavorable or undesirable response to prescription antidepressants, a folate deficiency might be to blame. You can regulate this independently and monitor your symptoms and treatment responses.
How does it help?
Serotonin regulation is the number one thing to look forward to with folate. You can expect this vitamin to make you feel lighter mentally and emotionally. Often people fear prescription medications for help with regulating moods. While not an identical option, folate can be a natural remedy. The folic acid you gain here is also incredibly beneficial for expecting or new moms. The hormone fluctuation that commonly affects women in these stages of life can be somewhat regulated through an increase in folic acid.
Foods high in folate
- Leafy greens
- Black-eyed peas
Happiness can be generated in so many ways, and vitamins are one of the many ways to boost your mood. Perhaps the most significant thing to take away here is that when properly researched and incorporated into your daily routine, you can find your happiness has improved through the use of vitamins. Far too often, people think that their brain is the only player in the happiness game, but your entire bodily make up contributes to your emotional wellbeing.
When starting a new vitamin regime, pay close attention to how you feel before, during, and after a period of time. Many find it helpful to keep a journal around and document things in real-time and keep it on hand as a reference. You can have discussions with your medical doctor or a mental health professional of your choice if you want a more guided approach towards a vitamin regime that is specific to your wants and needs.
Do not hesitate to try and get more of these vitamins into your body in a variety of ways as well. For some people, a supplement suits their lifestyle better than adjusting their diet and nutrition to suit their goals, while others prefer to get all their vitamins from food and do not mind the extra effort that entails. A combination of the two strategies can also yield great results. The last thing you want is to do is compromise the happiness you are trying to cultivate by putting additional pressure and stress on yourself to work through this routine in a way that does not feel like a natural fit for your life.