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Pay attention to nutrition to boost energy and enhance mood

24 July, 2013

Natural Health News — Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression.

That was the conclusion of a recent panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago.

Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, said vitamin and mineral supplements can be the alternative to increasing psychiatric medicines for symptom relief of anxiety and depression. The supplements, she said, also can provide the mental energy necessary to manage stress, enhance mood and reduce fatigue.

In a series of studies she recently conducted in Canada, Kaplan found of the 97 adults with diagnosed mood disorders who kept a three-day food record, a higher intake of vitamins and minerals were significantly correlated with overall enhanced mental functioning.

As previous research has shown, diet can also influence both mood and energy level.

CJ Geiger, PhD, research associate professor in the division of nutrition at the University of Utah and president of Geiger & Associates, LLC, said that in her research, she has found most adults define energy throughout the day as peaking mid-morning, falling to a valley in the afternoon after lunch and recovering with a pickup in late afternoon, settling back down before bedtime.

However, these peaks and valleys did vary with gender, age and climate. The way people deal with these peaks and troughs, which can have a knock on effect on mood varies,Geiger suggested.

Many adults are known to use coffee, soft drinks, chocolate and candy bars as well as energy drinks, bars and chews with high sugar boosts to maintain energy throughout the day. But, she found, other adults ate more frequent, smaller meals to sustain energy while making time for lots of rest and exercise.

Vitamins that have been known to enhance mood, said Geiger, include 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5 HTP), vitamins B and D, as well as ginkgo biloba and omega 3 fatty acids.