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10 nutritional deficiencies that can cause emotional stress

It is well known that what we eat has an effect on our mood, in fact, some nutritional deficiencies can become enemies of our happiness, aggravating the level of stress in the body.

Our nervous system requires dozens of essential minerals, vitamins and fatty acids to help us to function properly.

Their deficiencies can cause a wide range of physical problems, but they can also affect mental and emotional health and may even be the cause of depression, anxiety, and low mood in some people.

Find out here what nutrients you may be needing more of if you are feeling anxious or stressed.

Vitamin B complex

Vitamin B complex is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system, as well as helping to reduce the risk of stroke, to support the growth of the nails, and to moisturise the skin.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (Maryland), a vitamin B deficiency may have a significant influence on moods, so much so that a large proportion of elderly women who are depressed have been found to be deficient in them. 

You can find an incredible amount of B vitamins in all seeds, spirulina, almonds, cashews, berries, broccoli, leafy greens, bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, kale, fennel, squash (all), tomatoes, avocados, sprouted grain bread, beans and legumes, dried figs, dried dates. 

Omega Oils

Omega oils improve the functioning of the nervous system, promote neurotransmitter balance and reception, relieve depression and attention deficit. 

Plant-based sources of Omega Oils are safflower oil, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnut, chia seeds, Brussels sprout, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, leafy greens, sesame seeds, wheat germ. 

Folic Acid

Folic acid is essential for brain and nerve function, besides being important during pregnancy for the development of the brain and nerves. 

Top foods: wheat germs, spinach, broccoli, boiled lentils, boiled chickpeas, peanuts, sprouts, asparagus, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, cauliflower, walnut, avocado.


Zinc is one of those nutrients needed to maintain the health of almost every part of your body. It is important for healing, hormones, aids the ability to cope with stress effectively and promotes a healthy nervous system and brain. 

Excellent sources of zinc are spinach, whole grains (including corn), beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, cacao, miso, broccoli, rye, green beans and ginger.


Selenium plays a primary role in supporting thyroid function. Its antioxidant properties help to protect against free radicals and carcinogens, reduces inflammation and stimulates the immune system to fight infections.

Abundant sources of selenium can be found in foods such seeds (sunflower, sesame, flax), wholemeal bread, brazil nuts, shiitake mushrooms, chia seeds, brown rice, broccoli, cabbage, spinach.


Magnesium is the second most abundant element inside human cells and it is very important for the proper functioning of the muscles and the nervous system. 

It increases water in the intestines which help to initiate peristalsis, relieving constipation. As magnesium plays an important role in muscle function, for this reason, it is directly related to constipation as the entire digestive tract is essentially one long muscle.

Other deficiency symptoms are muscle tremors or spasms, muscle weakness, insomnia, constipation, depression, and confusion. 

The top foods that contain magnesium are wheat germ, almonds, cashew nuts, buckwheat, brazil nuts, peanuts, pecan nuts, beans, garlic, raisins, green peas, potato skin, prunes.

Vit D

In addition to food, our body takes vitamin D thanks to the action of the sun’s rays on our skin. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked several times to depression, anxiety and mood disorders during seasonal changes.

You can find a good amount of Vit D in mushrooms. You can naturally boost vitamin D levels simply by exposing mushrooms to the sun for two days.


Like selenium, iodine is necessary for proper thyroid function. It also helps strengthen brain and memory performance while maintaining good mental health.

The most nutritious foods are salt enriched with iodine, dried algae, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, green beans, bananas, prunes.


Iron deficiency in the diet can lead to a deficiency of red blood cells, resulting in anaemia, appetite loss, nausea and chronic fatigue. It transports oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from cells.

Iron is essentially found in legumes (lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans), grains (quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal), nuts and seeds, leafy green, potatoes, mushrooms, olives. 


The intake of amino acids helps us to balance the neurotransmitters in our brain and thus reduce fear, anxiety, panic attacks and stress.

Good sources of amino acids are soybeans and soy products, buckwheat, beans and rice. seeds and nuts, asparagus, cauliflower, oats, mung bean sprouts, spinach, broccoli, quinoa.

Dealing with emotional stress is not easy but here there are a few tips that can help you to cope with it:

Meditation: meditation teaches healthier breathing. Poor breathing is one of the issues that makes stress symptoms worse. It also allows you to understand your thoughts and emotions on a very deep level. It helps in developing a balanced state of mind and a clear, calm, focused and controlled mind. I often meditate whilst listening to binaural beats.

Tap into your emotions: Learning to tap into your emotions and understanding the message behind them can help you to take the right steps into changing your mindset, and shift challenging emotions. You can start by following these 5 steps.

Love, Carlotta


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