Given the current situation, fear and concern are normal defences of our body to something we do not know. Covid-19 did that to us; an invisible “enemy” who lock us inside our homes and made us physically and mentally exhausted. This symptomatology can be mitigated by resorting to a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables. However, the foods available are not always in their ideal method of preservation, or the way we cook them does not allow us to guarantee the ideal preservation of their nutritional characteristic
Given the current situation, fear and concern are normal defences of our body to something we do not know. Covid-19 did that to us; an invisible “enemy” who lock us inside our homes and made us physically and mentally exhausted. This symptomatology can be mitigated by resorting to a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables. However, the foods available are not always in their ideal method of preservation, or the way we cook them does not allow us to guarantee the ideal preservation of their nutritional characteristics.
To preserve good mental health, guaranteeing good brain function, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids (those that our body does not naturally produce), and fatty acids, namely polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 are needed. The brain is the first organ to receive nutrients when they become available, and it is also the one that first feels deficient when they are not readily bioavailable. In this sense, when we are unable to suppress our energy and vitamin needs from our daily diet, we will have to resort to food supplementation to obtain the necessary nutrients and vitamins.
In this sense, there are dietary supplements that can be useful in situations of physical and mental tiredness:
Vitamin A: Assists in the ability to concentrate and focus.
B Complex Vitamins: They are also important in terms of concentration and focus. For example, Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is important in brain modulation and cognitive development. Vitamin B9 preserves brain development and memory in the elderly, and a lack of Vitamin B6 can cause mental confusion and insomnia. The latter, when acting in conjunction with vitamin B12, is involved in the formation of some neurotransmitters.
Vitamin C: it is present in large quantities in the brain nerve endings, promoting its proper functioning. It has been used frequently in the treatment of anxiety.
Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol): This vitamin is unique. In addition to its production by the body associated with sun exposure, it is also a crucial prohormone. That is, it is essential for the formation and functioning of other hormones. Although Portugal is a Mediterranean country, we are not always exposed to the sun enough to have a good amount of this vitamin, being a useful supplement. Its function consists in the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone formation and reabsorption, through its interaction with several organs.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan): It is an amino acid produced by the body that has functions associated with the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that contributes to our good mood and well-being. It can also help in improving sleep and memory.
Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6): Omega-3 and 6 have fundamental functions in the proper functioning of the brain. Omega-3 is associated with combating inflammation, and when needed, it can lead to the onset of depressive crises, or in more severe cases, dementia. Omega-6 is important in cell formation and division, and its deficiency is associated with situations of seizure.
Zinc: Its deficiency can lead to symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Its incorrect amount in the body in association with Copper can potentiate various situations of mental health imbalance. Its normal concentration in the body helps in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Magnesium: Fundamental mineral for brain and muscle functions. It has preventive functions of arrhythmias and blood pressure reduction. It is indicated for the prevention of depressive states, migraines, or epilepsy as well. Extremely useful in preventing muscle cramps.
Probiotics: It is believed that the processes of neural transmission and neuroinflammation of the brain-intestine axis (a name used to indicate the relationship between the gastrointestinal system and the central nervous system) may be related to learning and mood. These processes are regulated by the gut-microbiome, through mediation via the vagus nerve, bacterial metabolites, and immune system. Therefore, when our gut bacteria are not healthy, and you are faced with a case of intestinal dysbiosis, there may be more susceptibility to the development of neurological pathologies and mood changes such as increased anxiety.
Valeriana officinalis L: This is a plant that can be found in the form of a food supplement and is extremely useful to treat mild states of anxiety and tension. In addition, it can assist in sleep, making it more peaceful and allowing a better rest, without having to resort to chemical substances.
Ginkgo Biloba: This food supplement may be useful in preventing various disorders of the functions of the Central Nervous System, namely: dizziness, tinnitus, headache, fatigue, memory deficit, difficulty concentrating, and attention. Or even in the symptomatic treatment of brain performance disorders caused by dementia syndromes.
Knowing that a great part of the world population has an unbalanced diet in terms of the consumption of vegetables or fruits, and these food sources are suppliers of nutrients that have antioxidant action against the action of free radicals. Food supplementation reveals here an easy and safe advantage in your supply. It assumes a valuable role when we cannot supply the nutritionally recommended dosages of vitamins, minerals, or essential fatty acids exclusively through food.