Stress, Anxiety, Depression Minerals That Help


Zinc, Selenium, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese and Iron. These seven essential minerals are needed for good mental just as much as for good physical health.

These minerals can dramatically help prevent, alleviate, and treat low mood symptoms and frayed emotions.

Here I explain what each mineral does, which ones you produce naturally and which of them you might need to supplement via diet or supplements.

I’ll also give you some examples of deficiency and a few examples of the most common symptoms. You will also discover a wide range of the best foods you can easily incorporate into your diet.

Below I have highlighted the most significant bits for you, just in case your schedule is tight.

Click the link you want to start with, or by all means, continue.


Let’s Take a Look

2021 was a tough year, and 2022  looks as though it isn’t going to be any easier, looking after your mental health needs to be made a priority.

Being informed about the minerals and the correct amounts your body needs is vital for good mental and physical health.

  • Zinc (Zn)

A trace mineral, zinc, is a major player in immune system health when taken with certain antioxidants.

Studies have suggested that it may also help delay the progression of age-related muscular degeneration and assist in the formation of numerous enzymes and proteins.

Zinc is an essential trace element required for regular cell creation, growth and development.

Zinc plays a significant role In the synthesis of DNA and RNA transcription, cell division and activation; zinc supports the immune system’s many functions.

This wonder mineral also has fantastic wound healing properties and supports the normal function of taste and smell. The immune system also frees Vitamin A from storage in the liver.

Symptoms of Deficiency:

Deficiency can produce some of the following symptoms:

  • impaired immune function.
  • slow healing of wounds
  • weight loss
  • taste abnormalities
  • mental lethargy

In more severe cases, zinc deficiency can cause:

  • hair loss,
  • diarrhoea,
  • delayed sexual maturation
  • impotence

Many of these symptoms are non-specific and often associated with other health conditions;

A zinc deficiency may happen if you cannot naturally absorb zinc by your body, which occurs with IBS conditions. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Associated Risks

Zinc deficiency and altered metabolism can be present in many liver disease types, including alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and viral liver disease.

Best Food Source

  • red meats
  • poultry
  • oysters /other seafood
  • fortified cereals
  • beans
  • nuts

Zinc leaves the body quickly, so levels need topping up daily.


Vegetarians need to be aware that they will have less access to zinc because of their diet. Experts suggest that they get twice the recommended requirement of zinc from plant foods.

Calcium (Ca)

This particular mineral goes about building and protecting bones and teeth. It also plays a role in assisting with muscle contraction, relaxation, blood clotting, and nerve impulse transmission.

Calcium aids and supports hormone secretion and enzyme activation and helps sustain and maintain healthy blood pressure.

Symptoms of Deficiency:

Lack of calcium in your diet has been shown to increase depression in middle-aged women.

A lack of sodium and protein-rich foods over a long period slowly adds to the deficiency as it impairs calcium absorption in the body.

Best Food Source

  • yoghurts
  • cheese
  • milk
  • tofu
  • sardines
  • salmon
  • fortified juices

Leafy green vegetables are a fantastic source too:

  • broccoli
  • kale
  • cabbage
  • collard greens

All these greens are fantastic sources, but not Spinach or Swiss Chard, which have binders that lessen absorption.

vitamin-supplements-definitely-have-a-place-at-the-tableAdults absorb roughly 30% of the calcium ingested, but this can vary depending on the source.

Diets very high in calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

  • Selenium (Se)

Selenium is one of the trace elements needed by your body which acts as an antioxidant, neutralising the unstable molecules in your body that damage cells.

A significant player in thyroid regulating, function, and hormone activity also assists with reproduction and DNA synthesis.


One study showed that low or high selenium levels in the body could cause symptoms of depression, especially among young people.

Best Food Source

This mineral is found in organ meats such as

  • liver
  • kidneys
  • seafood
  • walnuts
  • grain product

Sometimes plants (dependant on soil content).


Researchers are investigating whether selenium may help reduce the risk of developing cancer; results are mixed.

  • Iron (Fe)

Iron is needed to produce haemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

Essential in good energy level, good muscle and organ function.

Chemical reactions in the body also use iron to manufacture amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones.

Symptoms of Deficiency:

It can affect any age; studies have shown that among a study group of men and women, 72% that were diagnosed with depression also had iron deficiency anaemia.

This result highlighted a link between the severity of depression and Iron Deficiency Anemia. (IDA)

Best Food Source


  • Red meat
  • poultry
  • eggs
  • fruits
  • green vegetables
  • fortified bread
  • grain products

Associated Risks

It can cause constipation because iron is harder to absorb from plants. Experts suggest vegetarians get twice the recommended amount (assuming the source is food).

  • Magnesium (Ma)

Needed for many chemical reactions in the body and works in partnership with calcium in muscle contraction, blood clotting.

They also support the regulation of blood pressure and help to build strong bones and teeth.

Symptoms of Deficiency:

Stored in the bone, a deficiency in this mineral can be associated with diabetes, moderate to severe alcohol consumption and certain medications.

There has been a link to personality changes, depression, agitation, confusion, and magnesium deficiency.

Best Food Source

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • legumes
  • cashews
  • sunflower seeds and other seeds
  • halibut
  • whole-wheat
  • bread
  • milk

Associated Risk

The majority of magnesium in the body is in your bones; if your blood levels are low, your body may tap into these reserves to correct the problem.

  • Manganese (Mn)

Manganese is a trace element which means the body requires minute quantities.

However, regardless of how small they may be, they are essential in forming bones and the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.

Normal brain and nervous system function also rely on this mineral for maximum efficiency and is stored in your pancreas, liver, kidneys and bones.


Symptoms of Deficiency:

It can affect fertility in both men and women and can result in bones problems.

Lack of manganese can even cause seizures and disrupt your carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.

Interestingly enough, too much zinc has also been linked to developing low mood and depressive illnesses.

Best Food Source

  • fish
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • tea

Associated Risks

If you take supplements or have manganese in your drinking water, be careful not to exceed the upper limit.

Those with liver damage or whose diets supply abundant manganese should be especially vigilant.

  • Potassium (K)

Potassium helps to balance fluids in the body; it also helps in maintaining a steady heartbeat.

It helps in the process of sending nerve impulses needed for muscle contractions and stimulation of muscle growth.

A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure; getting enough potassium from your diet also benefits strong bone formation.

Symptoms of Deficiency:

Deficiency can be a lack of carbohydrates in your diet; it is also associated with chronic diseases such as kidney disease, IBS (irritable bowel disease) and among people who take diuretics or laxatives.

Best Food Source

  • meat
  • milk
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • grains
  • legumes

Associated Risks

Food sources do not cause toxicity, but high-dose supplements might.

Please Note: It is always best to check with your GP or health adviser before taking any supplements for this particular mineral.

One last Reminder


Remember, fresh air, exercise, rest, relaxation, healthy relationships and time out for yourself all contribute to good mental and physical health.


UK Helplines

  • National Debt Help UK: website: gov.UK/national-debt line
  • The Samaritans: 116 123 (free 24-helpline) website
  • Mental Health Foundation:
  • No Panic: (Re anxiety) : 0844 967 4848 (10pm -10pm) website:

USA Helplines

  • USA Government Debt Support: website:
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):  1-800-950-NAMI (6264) (hotline) website:
  • Crisis Text Line: Connect with a crisis counsellor to receive 24 hr crisis support via text message: text NAMI to 741-741

*Please note the information in this post is intended for the purpose of general information only and should not be used as a substitute for the individual expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals & that I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

2 thoughts on “Stress, Anxiety, Depression Minerals That Help

  1. Boi says:


    Thank you for a wonderful article. Mental health has become an extremely important topic in our nowadays world. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we are already so much impact on the mental health of so many people yet the pandemic is not over. You can imagine what is going to happen once this pandemic is over. The mental impact is going to be so huge.

    It is good to know that taking the supplements you have talked about can help alleviate and treat symptoms of low mood and control mental health as a whole. Fruits and vegetables still remains the best source of many of these nutrients and again taking supplements may also be helpful. Thank you so much for the article.

    1. Mitch says:

      Hey Boi,

      Thanks for taking the time out to visit, yes you are so right, I think a lot of people are suffering who before the pandemic have never felt as stressed as they do right now.

      Those that were struggling before are struggling to cope with life even more, the true fallout of these past 14 months are only just being felt by some, sadly it will be a wave.

      Looking after yourself has to be a priority in being prepared to handle and better cope with what may be down the line.

      Fresh food is always best, as you mentioned, however some vitamin and minerals are difficult to source via diet.

      It’s important to know which ones we need and they way in which they need to be sourced. to make sure we are getting the exact nutrients we need, as well as the correct amounts.

      Thank you so much for your contribution to the conversation, really appreciated.

      What would be your top nutritious food be? Would love to know.

      Until Then,

      Stay Save, Stay Healthy, Stay Strong

      Mitch X:-).


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