What nutrients are needed to help support or prevent mental health and mood issues?

Hello there and thank you for sending in your question! 

There is a growing body of research that suggests there is a connection between nutrition and mental health.1 Several studies have found potential health benefits in treating a variety of mental disorders with certain nutrients and positive dietary changes, such as eating less highly processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.1 However, there currently is not enough evidence on what specific nutrients are needed to help support or prevent mental health and mood issues. The study of the role that nutrition plays in the development and treatment of mental health problems is relatively new and requires much more research. 

Although the connection between nutrition and mental health is still unclear, the same nutrition advice that is designed to promote health and prevent chronic disease (i.e. Dietary Guidelines for Americans) may be relevant to support mental health.2 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines encourage healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity to help achieve and maintain good health. Healthy eating patterns focus more on everything you eat and drink rather than individual nutrients to help improve the variety and quality of what you consume in order to get the nutrients your body needs to live healthfully. Explore ways to build a healthy eating pattern and other tips to help put you and your loved ones on a path to better health on our "Lifestyle" page! 


Hope this helps and wish you good and lasting health!



  1. Clay RA. “The link between food and mental health.” American Psychological Association. Published September 2017. Accessed February 2018. Available at www.apa.org/monitor/2017/09/food-mental-health.aspx

  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. Published December 2015. Accessed February 2018. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/