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By now, we’re all pretty aware of how important proper nutrition is for our kid’s physical health. They need calcium and vitamin D for strong bones and teeth. Iron and B vitamins are crucial for energy and growth. But, did you know that vitamins and nutrition can directly impact your child’s mood, as well?
As parents, we want what’s best for our children, and watching them suffer from stress, depression, or other mood disorders is tough. But, the idea of putting a child on prescription medication for things like anxiety and depression at such a young age is concerning.
Of course, these conditions should always be taken seriously, and you should consult with your child’s doctor for advice. However, incorporating vitamins into your child’s routine may improve his quality of life and help him cope with stress in a safe and natural way.
Here are seven vitamins that may be impacting your child’s mood and how to ensure that your child is getting enough of these key nutrients.
1. Vitamins B9 and B12
There are a total of eight different B vitamins and each one performs a vital role in the body. Vitamins B9 and B12 can have a direct impact on your mood. Folate (B9) deficiency has been directly linked to depression, while B12 deficiency can cause things like fatigue and mood swings. Increasing your child’s intake of B vitamins may help them cope with stress and reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
2. S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe)
SAMe is a chemical that is naturally found in the body, with the greatest concentrations in the liver and brain. It plays a crucial role in synthesizing the neurotransmitters our brains use to communicate, particularly the ones involved with depression. SAMe supplements show great promise in relieving the symptoms of depression.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for neurodevelopment in children, as well as heart health, cognitive function, and much more. EPA and DHA, two essential fatty acids found in fatty fish, are essential for healthy cells and proper neurotransmitter function. Supplementing with EPA has also been shown to relieve depression symptoms.
Yep, the same stuff that makes you want to take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner could also be affecting your child’s mood. Tryptophan is an important amino acid that’s crucial for the production of serotonin, a hormone that boosts the mood. Increasing your child’s intake of tryptophan by including more eggs, salmon, and nuts in their diet, or by giving them a supplement, could reduce the symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
Magnesium is a mineral that influences many critical body functions, including regulating the blood sugar and proper nerve function. It may also have a direct impact on mood because it affects neuronal cell membrane fluidity. If your child suffers from insomnia, giving them a magnesium supplement before bed may also help them fall asleep more easily and sleep through the night.
Probiotics are living, healthy microorganisms and bacteria that play a key role in digestive health. A healthy gut is crucial for overall health, including mental health. Supplementing with probiotics supports neurotransmitter function and helps the body combat stress and depression.
Zinc deficiency is very common in people who suffer from mental illness and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. It is crucial for regulating synaptic processes in the brain, and zinc supplements can be very helpful for combating depression. In fact, it is often used in conjunction with prescription medications for the treatment of mood disorders.
Ensure That Your Child Is Getting Enough Nutrients
Nothing can take the place of eating a healthy diet. To ensure that your child is getting the right nutrients for good mental health, he or she should be eating a wide variety of whole foods each day. Emphasis should be placed on fatty fish, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables for the best neurocognitive health and balanced moods.
But, let’s face it. A lot of kids are picky eaters and getting them to eat a variety of foods can be a challenge, to say the least. Prolonged picky eating could lead to nutrient deficiencies over time that may be affecting your child’s moods.
If your child is on a vegetarian or vegan diet, he or she may struggle to get enough key nutrients like omega-3s, calcium, iron, and B12. And, children who have digestive issues may have difficulty absorbing nutrients efficiently.
Even with the best of intentions, it’s unlikely that your child is meeting all of their nutritional requirements every day, and that’s where supplements come in. Incorporating a daily multivitamin supplement into their routine ensures that any nutritional gaps are being met.
Organic supplements by SmartyPants Vitamins are an excellent choice because they are free of dyes, fillers, and artificial sweeteners that may contribute to mood disorders. Be sure to choose a formula that has been created especially for kids because their nutritional needs are much different from adults.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can have a major impact on your child’s quality of life. If your child is dealing with mood disorders, changing up their diet and adding a daily multivitamin supplement could help reduce stress and boost their mood. It could be just what your child needs for optimal mental and physical health.
How do you incorporate vitamins into your child’s daily routine?