Nutrients Table

Food has an immediate and lasting effect on our mental health and our behavior because of the way it affects the structure and function of our brains. Being bipolar, we are unique in that what we need to eat for our minds (brains) varies depending on whether we’re ‘up’ or ‘down’. Research has found our nutritional intake should change in correlation with our moods. To help us, I’ve compiled a nutrients table to tell us what we should be eating to combat our difficult moods. 

ARE YOU EXPERIENCING…?

DEPRESSION/ ANXIETY?

Healthy foods to eat include:

Folic Acid rich veg: spinach, lettuce, asparagus, beetroot, savoy cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, green peas, fresh parsley, sprouts, avocados, cauliflower

Fish: cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, shrimp

Meat: turkey

Nuts and seeds: peanuts, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts

Beans and pulses: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans

Fruit: oranges (boosts magnesium)

Veg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussells sprouts, green cabbage, watercress

Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds

Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa

Dairy: plain yoghurt

Beans and pulses: baked beans

Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins Sweet: dark chocolate

MANIA/ ATTENTION DEFICIT/ RACING THOUGHTS:

Vitamin B1 Wholegrain: spelt bread, oats, brown rice, barley, fresh pasta

Pulses and beans: lentils, soya milk

Veg: peppers, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, watercress, green peas, aubergine, brussell sprouts

Nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds

Fish/seafood: tuna, salmon, mussels

DEPRESSION:

Vitamin B3 Wholegrains: brown rice, rice bran, wheatgerm

Veg: broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, brussels sprouts, courgette, squash

Nuts: peanuts

Meat: turkey, chicken Fish: tuna, salmon

Seeds: sunflower seeds

It could be you have a Vitamin B6 deficiency, in which case eat:

Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley

Fruit: bananas, mango

MANIA/ RECKLESSNESS:

Fish: tuna, trout, salmon

Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, potatoes

Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey

Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas

Seeds: sunflower seeds

DEPRESSION/ LOW ENERGY:

Veg: red pepper, red cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, celery, squash, cabbage, watercress

Fresh fruit: strawberries, oranges, tangerines, kiwi, cantaloupe, papaya, cranberries, pineapple

Folic Acid Veg: spinach, lettuce, asparagus, beetroot, savoy cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, green peas, fresh parsley, brussels sprouts, avocados, cauliflower

Fish: cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, shrimp

Meat: calf’s liver, turkey

Nuts and seeds: peanuts, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts

Beans and pulses: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans

Fruit: oranges (for magnesium)

MANIA/ RACING THOUGHTS:

Veg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress

Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds

Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa

Dairy: plain yoghurt Beans and pulses: baked beans

Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins

Sweet: dark chocolate

You may need to boost your selenium levels. Eat:

Wholegrains: wheat germ, brewers yeast

Meat: calf liver, turkey breast

Fish: cod, tuna, halibut, salmon, shrimp

Veg: mushrooms, garlic, spinach

Nuts: brazil nuts

Beans and pulses: tofu

Wholegrains: barley, rye, oats, long grain brown rice Dairy: mozzarella cheese

Seeds: mustard, sunflower

It could be you have a Zinc deficiency, eat:

Seafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp

Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal

Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds

Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt

Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso

Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef

Seeds: pumpkin, sesame

Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli

Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

It could be you have an Omega 3 fatty acids deficiency, eat plenty of:

Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, scallops, fresh tuna, halibut, shrimp, cod, trout

Seeds: Flaxseed Nuts: Walnuts

It could be you have a Tryptophan deficiency, eat:

Lean meat: Skinless turkey, skinless chicken

Dairy: plain yoghurt, milk, eggs, cheddar, gruyere, swiss cheese, cottage cheese

Nuts: almonds, pistachios, pecan, hazelnuts, peanuts/soy nuts Seeds: poppy, pumpkin, sesame seeds

Beans and pulses: lentils, chick peas (hummus), kidney, lima beans, soya

Veg: spinach, watercress, cabbage

It could be you have a Tyrosine deficiency, eat:

Lean meat: turkey, tuna, chicken liver

Dairy: cheddar, boursault, camembert, emmenthal, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan

Veg: avocados, green beans, tofu, miso soup, soy sauce, spinach, yeast extract (Marmite etc)

Fruit: bananas, tinned figs, plums, raisins, tomatoes, prunes GABA (gamma- aminobutyric acid)

DEPRESSION/ POOR MEMORY:

Vitamin B5 Wholegrains: oats, brown rice, wheatgerm, bran, brown bread

Dairy: yoghurt

Fruits: watermelon, blackberries, lemons, raspberries, strawberries

Veg: broccoli, watercress, cauliflower, alfalfa sprouts, peas, carrots, celery, avocados, sweet potatoes, mushrooms

Beans and pulses: broad beans, chickpeas

It could be you have a Vitamin B6 deficiency, eat:

Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley Fruit: bananas, mango

Fish: tuna, trout, salmon Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy

Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey

Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas Seeds: sunflower seeds

It could be you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, eat:

Meat: chicken, turkey

Fish/seafood: salmon, halibut, bass, tuna, shrimp, trout, oysters, crab, clams

Dairy: cottage cheese, low fat yoghurt, boiled or poached eggs, milk

Omega 3 fatty acids

Fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, scallops, fresh tuna, halibut, shrimp, cod, trout

Seeds: Flaxseed Nuts: Walnuts

MANIA/ IRRITABILITY

Vitamin B6 Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley

Fruit: bananas, mango

Fish: tuna, trout, salmon

Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, potatoes

Meat: chicken, pork loin, turkey

Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas Seeds: sunflower seeds

It could be you have a Magnesium deficiency, eat:

Veg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress

Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds

Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa

Dairy: plain yoghurt Beans and pulses: baked beans

Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins

Sweet: dark chocolate

It could be you have a Selenium deficiency, eat:

Wholegrains: wheat germ, brewers yeast

Meat: calf liver, turkey breast

Fish: cod, tuna, halibut, salmon, shrimp Veg: mushrooms, garlic, spinach

Nuts: brazil nuts

Beans and pulses: tofu

Wholegrains: barley, rye, oats, long grain brown rice

Dairy: mozzarella cheese

Seeds: mustard, sunflower

STRESS:

It could be you have a Vitamin B6 deficiency, eat plenty of:

Wholegrains: brown rice, oats, bran, barley

Fruit: bananas, mango

Fish: tuna, trout, salmon

Veg: avocado, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage, peppers, squash, asparagus, bok choy, boiled new potatos

Meat: chicken, turkey

Beans and pulses: lima beans, soy beans, chickpeas

Seeds: sunflower seeds

Or you have a Vitamin B3 deficiency if you’ve not been eating enough…

Wholegrains: brown rice, rice bran, wheatgerm

Veg: broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, brussels sprouts, courgette, squash

Nuts: peanuts

Meat: turkey, chicken, beef kidney

Fish: tuna, salmon

Seeds: sunflower seeds

Or you could have a Magnesium deficiency, eat:

Veg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress

Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds

Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa Dairy: plain yogurt

Beans and pulses: baked beans

Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins

Sweet: dark chocolate

MENTAL CONFUSION:

Vitamin B12 Meat: calf liver, chicken, turkey, lamb

Fish/seafood: salmon, halibut, bass, tuna, shrimp, trout, oysters, crab, clams

Dairy: cottage cheese, low fat yoghurt, boiled or poached eggs, milk

Eat lots of Zinc foods, including:

Seafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp

Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal

Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds

Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt

Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso

Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lamb, pork, mince beef

Seeds: pumpkin, sesame

Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

INSOMNIA:

Nuts and seeds: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds

Wholegrains: oatmeal, bran, long grain rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa

We could have a Magnesium deficiency, eat:

Veg: spinach, watercress, avocado, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, watercress

Fruit: banana, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, oranges, raisins

DEPRESSION/ BLANK MIND:

Eat lots of Zinc foods, including:

Seafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp

Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal, home made granola

Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds

Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt

Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso

Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lean mince beef

Seeds: pumpkin, sesame

Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli

Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

MANIA/ LOSS OF APPETITE:

Eat Zinc foods, like:

Seafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp

Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal

Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds

Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt

Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso

Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, pork, lean mince beef

Seeds: pumpkin, sesame

Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

DEPRESSION/ LACK OF MOTIVATION:

Eat Zinc foods:

Seafood/fish: oysters, mussels, shrimp

Cereals: fortified breakfast cereal

Nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds

Dairy: mozzarella, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, low fat yoghurt

Beans and pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, lima beans, lentils, miso

Meat: chicken (dark meat), turkey, lean pork

Seeds: pumpkin, sesame

Veg: spinach, mushrooms, squash, asparagus, broccoli

Fruit: blackberries, kiwi

Or you could have a Tyrosine deficiency. Eat lots of:

Lean meat: turkey, tuna, chicken liver, beef liver

Dairy: cheddar, boursault, camembert, emmenthal, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss cheeses, sour cream

Veg: avocados, green beans, tofu, miso soup, soy sauce, spinach, yeast extract (Marmite, etc.)

Fruit: bananas, tinned figs, plums, raisins, tomatoes, prunes