Many multivitamin and mineral supplements can help with teenage mood swings and depression. Adolescents go through different physical and emotional issues. Peer pressure, acne, exams and the constant need to perform well in different areas can take a toll on a teenager’s mental health and well being. The constant use of Smartphones and tablets is another trend that is paving way for mental ill-health. As a parent, you can provide the best food to help reduce nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, certain vitamins can also help with teenage depression and mood swings. Note that, on most days, these supplements can help and some can even work within an hour or two! Ideally though, parents should talk to their family physician and consider some blood work on their teens to identify specific deficiencies.
Here are some of the best vitamins for puberty.
Every teenager needs a high potency multivitamin with at least 50mg of each of the B vitamins like B1, B2, B3 and B6. Formulations vary from pill to pill and higher amounts of B3 and B6 are fine. Many studies have shown that B vitamins can reduce explosive rage, aggressive behavior and mood swings in teenagers. (Do note that-While taking higher B-complex dosage, the urine will be bright yellow which is normal.) Food sources of B vitamins are – Vitamin B1 is found in-pork, legumes, bananas, fish, potatoes, peas, and fortified cereals. B2 is found in milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, fish, kiwi, avocado, turnip, and asparagus. Vitamin B6 is found in Brewer’s Yeats, wheat bran, fish, walnuts, poultry, watermelon, soy. B12 is found in meat, poultry, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals, and soy milk.
Zinc is an absolute must for preventing acne and for proper handling of hormones in teens. Low levels of zinc play a pivotal role in adolescent acne. In fact; studies have shown that the 13 to 14 year male age group has significantly lower levels of zinc and after supplementation, with 30-45 mg daily, there were excellent results.
3. Vitamin A
Teenagers who eat a lot of junk food may need to take supplements of vitamin A. This is one of the best vitamins for puberty for clear complexion. Sexually active girls in the child bearing age group must take vitamin A to prevent birth defects. For female teenage mood swings and acne prevention, one needs at least 5000 IU of vitamin A per day. Vitamin A food sources include beef, liver, fish, cheddar cheese, pumpkin, carrots, oranges, apricots, cantaloupes etc.
This important nutrient can stabilize teenage moods and prevent acne. Chromium plays a very important role in skin cells’ sensitivity to insulin and aids in the breaking down of excess sugar. Therefore, teenagers need at least 200-400 mcg daily. You can get chromium from meat, poultry, cheese, cereals and nuts.
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5. Vitamin C
The first sign of low levels of vitamin C are irritability and fatigue with anger. Teenagers need plenty of vitamin C not only to boost immunity but also to create neurotransmitters which protect the brain from amphetamines. This important vitamin for teenage boys and girls also creates a compound called Carnitine that is involved in burning fats for energy in brain.
6. Vitamin E and selenium
These two work together for providing antioxidant action making them the most important natural supplements for teenage hormones. Both vitamin E and Selenium prevent inflammation of acne and help balance hormones. The typical dose for vitamin E is 100-400 IU and that for selenium is 100-40 mcg.
7. Vitamin D
This is one of the most important among all vitamins for teenage depression. It also strengthens bones and teeth and can reduce fractures. Fortified milk, eggs, cereals, fish, liver and sunlight are some good natural sources of this vitamin. Alternatively, one may need a supplement of at least 4000 IU per day.
The best way to deal with teenage mood swings is by remaining calm and patient. Remember: this phase doesn’t last forever.