Important Nutrients to Consider When Using Antidepressants & Anxiety Medications and What Foods Can Help

Important Nutrients to Consider When Using Antidepressants & Anxiety Medications and What Foods Can Help

Something I learned much later in my careers as a Functional Medicine Health coach, certain medications deplete nutrients and that those nutrients are extremely important to our quality of life. This article is not suggesting or aiming to persuade you to get off any of your medications!

In fact, I would not recommend that for anyone using psychiatric medications and would consult your physician before considering that process (there is a process to do that safely and effectively). This article is simply an opportunity to share information that I learned and wish I had known prior to being prescribed psych medication.

Use what information resonates with your and dismiss what doesn’t.  This is your journey and your body.

Researchers shows that there are certain medications (and birth control methods-pills, shot, ect) that deplete our bodies from nutrients via different mechanisms. These include impaired digestion, increased excretion of nutrients, impaired absorption, and storage of nutrients.

Since these drugs tend to deplete our bodies of important nutrients gradually, we might not notice side effects or new symptoms until months or even years after starting these drugs. Here is where the disconnect happens.

Instead of considering the depletion of important nutrients causing the newfound symptoms, your physician may just increase your dose or add on another medication.  When in fact, all you may have needed to do was give your body some of the important nutrients below.

A great example of this, if you are low in Vitamin B2, you’re going to notice weight gain, low energy levels, thyroid dysfunction, and skin problems. All of which can add to feeling more anxious and depressed.

Keep reading to learn more about what nutrients I am talking about, why they are important and foods you can use to support those nutrient deficiencies. If you are interested in supplementing for these deficiencies and would like some suggestions, just let me know. 😊

CoQ10 which is crucial to produce energy. Being a great antioxidant, it offers your brain and overall body protection against free radical damage. Foods to consider that are higher in CoQ10 are organ meats, red meat, chicken, fatty fish, avocados, lentils, cauliflower, broccoli, and eggs.

Magnesium which is one of the most important minerals (my personal favorite) in our body as it takes part in over 300 biochemical reactions. It acts as an enzyme, neurotransmitter, and shows hormonal activity – factors that have an immense effect on your brain function and mood.

There are 10 different types of magnesium and which one you use does matter.  I like Magnesium Threonate because it’s the main one that supports cognitive function, Magnesium citrate if you are not regularly having BM’s, Malate and/or Glycinate for a general magnesium that has great absorption).

Foods rich in magnesium are spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt (I like the lower sugar ones like the brand Two Good), almonds, black beans, avocados, dark chocolate and bananas.

B Vitamins (B2, B12, B6, B9)

B2 Lack of vitamin B2 leads to weight gain, low energy levels, and thyroid and skin problems. This happens because this vitamin is crucial for the energy metabolism throughout the body.

Food sources of this vitamin include leafy vegetables, pastured eggs, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, almonds, and beef liver.

B12 (Cobalamin) and Folate (Vitamin B9) Folate and vitamin B12 are important B vitamins that participate in the methylation process (important for cardiovascular, neurological, reproductive and our detoxification systems) in the brain and body.

This process is vital for the optimal function of the nervous system, as well as optimal energy levels.

Folate is an essential B vitamin necessary for producing red and white blood cells in bone marrow, producing DNA and RNA, and transforming carbohydrates into energy

Vitamin B-12 plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information.

You can find vitamin B12 in animal-based foods, such as beef liver, whereas folate in leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries, and cauliflower.

B6 The main symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are mental confusion, weakness, insomnia, depression, and severe PMS symptoms. You can find this vitamin in foods such as bananas, potatoes, and chicken.

All that to tell you that if you eat more green leafy vegetables, broccoli, chicken, and some avocados that you should be able to support your B vitamin deficiencies and/or use a B vitamin complex.

Mental health is very important to me! Living with an eating disorder for 15 years, Dr Phil sending me to the Center for Change (Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment Center) back in 2012 and now 10 years later coaching women all over the world on how to find their healthy lifestyle that they love, MENTAL HEALTH IS EVERYTHING!

When we get our Mind Right, our Bodies tends to follow.

As Jim Kwik says, “Education is Potential Power!” What we do with the information is on us. I encourage you to continue to chase curiosity, read, research and experiment with yourself.  You’re the Master of your Greatest Research Project (your mind, body and truth).