The Most Important Nutrients for Mental Health

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Posted: December 22, 2023

In a world where stress levels are on the rise — according to the American Psychological Association, 65% of adults reported moderate to high stress in the past month — taking care of our mental health has never been more crucial (1). Stress, manifests in various ways — muscle tension, pain, stomach upset, and sleep disruptions, just to name a few.  Amidst the chaos, it’s time to explore the often-overlooked nutrients — choline, magnesium, and iron — that support a peaceful and resilient mind. Below we outline the most important nutrients for mental health.

1. Choline: Brain-boosting Nutrient 

Choline is a crucial nutrient that often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.  Your brain and nervous system need it to regulate memory, mood, muscle control, and other functions. You also need choline to form the membranes that surround your body’s cells. You can make a small amount of choline in your liver, but most of the choline in your body comes from the food you eat (2). Ensuring an ample supply of choline in your diet can support your cognitive performance. 

Sources of Choline (3)

  • Eggs 
  • Meat, especially chicken and beef 
  • Fish, such as salmon and cod 
  • Dairy products 
  • Dietary supplements and fortified foods  

2. Magnesium: The Relaxation Mineral 

Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy, and it plays an important role in the relaxation of cells in the body (4). Magnesium is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA (5). Magnesium also helps regulate the stress hormone cortisol, which can support the sense of calmness, and promote improved sleep (6,7)

Sources of Magnesium (3)

  • Leafy green vegetables, like spinach and kale 
  • Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and sunflower seeds 
  • Whole grains, including brown rice and quinoa 
  • Fish, particularly mackerel and tuna 

3. Iron: Oxygenating the Brain 

Iron is an essential mineral for transporting oxygen throughout the body, including the brain. A well-oxygenated brain is essential for optimal cognitive function and mental alertness. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and impaired cognitive function (8).

Sources of Iron (3)

  • Lean meats, like beef and poultry 
  • Legumes, including lentils and chickpeas 
  • Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale 
  • Fortified cereals and grains 

Balchem Solutions: Important Nutrients for Mental Health

Investing in your mental health is an investment in your overall quality of life. By nourishing your body and mind with the right nutrients, you can empower yourself to face life’s challenges with resilience and clarity. 

While we understand that life can get busy, and maintaining a perfectly balanced diet might not always be feasible, Balchem Corporation, a leader in nutritional solutions, offers a range of dietary ingredients designed to support your mental and cognitive health journey. These ingredients provide a convenient way to ensure your body receives the essential nutrients it needs, even on the most hectic days. 

For more information on our choline, magnesium, and iron products, click the links below. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist to personalize your dietary needs based on your individual health requirements.  


  1. APA 2023 Stress in America Topline Data 
  2. Choline – Health Professional Fact Sheet ( 
  5. Magnesium – Health Professional Fact Sheet ( 
  6. Magnesium and stress – Magnesium in the Central Nervous System – NCBI Bookshelf ( 
  7. Oral magnesium supplementation for insomnia in older adults: a Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis | BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies | Full Text ( 
  8. Iron – Health Professional Fact Sheet ( 

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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