(Natural News) An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and according to a study, this can also apply to your mental health. The results of the study, which was a collaborative effort between researchers from the Academic Medical Center, the University of Amsterdam, and the University Medical Center Groningen, revealed that “[micronutrients] could reduce brain and memory impairment caused by stress in early childhood development.”
In the study, the researchers discovered that administering a micronutrient blend of methionine (an amino acid that can boost stress-resistance) and B vitamins had neuroprotective effects on young mice. The study findings emphasized the benefits of nutrition, especially in the early years of mental and cognitive development. The researchers also believe that nutrition interventions can potentially be used to treat victims of child abuse, neglect, or trauma.
For the study, the scientists limited the amount of nest-building material available to female mice. Doing this resulted in the female mice having less time to spend with their offspring, which induced stress.
The mice in the control group were given plenty of nest material. In turn, the female mice from this group spent more time with their young.
The researchers gave half of the “stressed mothers” nutrients that the body can’t produce on its own:
The rest of the stressed mice that didn’t receive the supplements produced offspring with an increased hormonal response to stress. The baby mice from this group also had lower methionine levels in their brains.
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On the other hand, the offspring of the stressed female mice that received supplementation had a lower hormonal stress response and higher methionine levels in the brain. When these mice grew older, they performed better on various memory tasks, unlike the early-stress exposed mice with mothers that didn’t receive nutritional supplementation.
The researchers noted that the study findings are comparable to breastfeeding in human babies. At this point in human life, brain development is accelerated. The results of the 2010 study, which was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, implies that breastfeeding can affect the mental health of children and adolescents. If this period is disturbed by stressors, individuals may be affected even into adulthood. (Related: A nutritional guide to healing mental disorders.)
The researchers noted that it remains unknown whether stress-exposed mothers produced less nutritious milk or if the absorption in the brain or body of young mice becomes impaired.
Dr. Aniko Korosi, the co-author of the study, is positive that the fact that “nutrients can influence impaired brain development deriving from stress in early childhood” can be used by researchers to develop targeted nutritional interventions for children who grow up in stressful environments.
If you’re stressed continuously after every workday, add these anti-stress foods to your diet to boost your mood and mental health.
Visit Nutrients.news to read more articles about other beneficial anti-stress fruits and vegetables that you can add to your diet.