The Connection ~ Part III
By Judy Thomas, LCSW
The B vitamins are another nutritional landmine that can wreck your mood. Low levels have been correlated with depression and anxiety in a significant number of studies. Unlike the fat soluble vitamin D, the B vitamins are water soluble making daily intake more important. Add to that the many substances that destroy them; including alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and refined sugars, and it is no wonder that many people have chronically low levels of these important nutrients.
Most data published on the internet focuses on B6 and B12 but this is only part of the picture. The brain uses all the B vitamins in the creation of neurotransmitters and neuron health making it important to maintain adequate levels of all the B vitamins. A deficiency in one can actually mask deficiencies in others.
As always, the best way to get your daily dose of B vitamins is from the foods you eat. This can necessitate a bit of planning if you want to get them all as foods that are good for one may not have much of the others. In general, unprocessed foods including meats, whole grains, beans, brewer's yeast, tempeh, and molasses are good sources. When diet alone is not enough, daily supplementation with a B-complex can provide noticeable benefit. For severe deficiencies, your doctor can provide injections.
A third important area where modern convenience is damaging our nutritional balance is in the area of fats. The message pushed in the media has been fats=bad which is very misleading. The body needs fats for cellular repair and to facilitate the use of many nutrients. The brain itself is 60% fat in the form of the myelin sheath that insulates neurons and glial cells. Not all fats are created equal and, unfortunately for us, the ones most common in a modern diet are the worst for us.
CHECK BACK ON FRIDAY TO READ PART IV