Poor nutrition is one of the causes of depression. Having a healthy and balanced diet is the key to a healthy body and mind. Included in that balanced diet are vitamins and minerals that come from fruits and vegetables. Many of us today skip out on fruits and vegetables for greasy cheeseburgers, carbonated drinks, and quick, processed snacks. Vitamins and Minerals are an important part of our balanced diet and must not be ignored. Omega 3s fatty acid Remember I’d mentioned above, how junk food with grease and fats are a major no-no for the health of your body and brain, well, this is one of those fats you NEED in your diet. Omega 3s have been known to treat depression, autism and also helps with neurodevelopment and cognition. These fatty acids commonly found in certain fishes like sardines, salmon, and if fishes aren’t your preference, there’s walnuts, flaxseeds, anchovies, and chia seeds.Vitamin B6Vitamin B6 plays a key role in the development of the brain as well as the body. It helps with the production of neurotransmitters, lipids, and haemoglobin. It also synthetises hormones like oestrogen that help with mood swings. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 include fish and beef liver, and if you’re on an all vegan diet, there are potatoes, chick-peas, nuts, raisins, and cereals.MagnesiumThis mineral is responsible for the body’s biochemical reactions like protein synthesis, blood pressure control, muscle and nerve functions. A magnesium deficient body can undergo stress, mood swings, muscle cramps, and a very unhappy state of mind due to the decrease in the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters. To get your dose of magnesium, go for leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, or carrots, almonds, or soymilk.Vitamin CWhen we think of Vitamin C, we think of oranges, lemons, and other citrusy foods. Supplements of Vitamin C are the most common and lets not forgets fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is not only known for its cold-preventing abilities or bringing the glow to your dull skin, but it is also known for its importance in the production of neurotransmitters, and its reduction of depressive thoughts.IronNot like the metal but the mineral found in vegetables, meat, lentils, and fish. Low levels of iron lead to the weakening of the blood’s oxygen-carrying abilities, feelings of fatigue and depression. And unfortunately, this is more common in women than men. This can be countered by iron supplements prescribed by your doctor.Vitamin DVitamin D is responsible for, helping boost your immune system to fight off those germs, the development of cognitive ability and to fight off your Monday blues. So, get off the couch, go out, soak up that ray of sunshine and get your dose of Vitamin D. And if your excuse is a cloudy or a rainy day, there are liver cod oil supplements, salmon, and milk that you could easily add to your diet. Zinc Since our body doesn’t store zinc, it needs to be consumed in our diet in trace amounts. Mental health issues including depression, anorexia nervosa, OCD, paranoia can easily be countered by taking its supplements. Food like cashews, Swiss cheese, or spinach and other green vegetables are also a great source of zinc.Vitamin B12 This vitamin is mostly prescribed by doctors for people who suffer from paranoia or depression. It also helps in the building of nerves and blood vessels and the synthesis of certain nutrients for neurological functions. Foods rich in Vitamin B12 include mozzarella cheese, salmon and trout.FolateFolate is known as Vitamin B9 and helps in the production and maintenance of a major neurotransmitter, serotonin. It is known for its antidepressant properties and to help with mood swings. Major food sources of folate include avocado, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli.CalciumAs we know the best sources of calcium will always be milk and kale. But did you know that it helps in the production of blood vessels, maintaining strong and healthy bones and driving away the risk of Type 2 diabetes? Well, neither did I. So, stick to your collard greens and chocolate milk for that dose of calcium!