Keep your spirits high during lockdown!
Here we explore how to improve your dietary intake to beneficially improve your mood!
Simply by feeding your body with nutritious beneficial food you are supporting healthy communication in the brain and reducing chronic inflammation. Certain nutrients can increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors which promotes the growth of new brain cells. Secondly chronic inflammation is one of the root causes of mood disorders such as depression, so anti-inflammatory foods are most beneficial in reducing such risk.
Omega 3 fatty acids
The most wholesome mood boating diet is the mediterranean diet. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and seafood which are dense anti-inflammatory foods and assist also with brain and hormone function.
Seafood contains a high amount of Omega-3. EPA and DHA (fish oil) has been proved to be brain boosting and mood enhancing nutrients. Salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel contain high levels of Fatty acids however low levels of mercury. These fish are also high in Selenium and vitamin B 12 which also assist with brain function and mood. Mussels and oysters contain high levels of zinc which also assist with normal brain communication.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard and bok choy are rich in folate, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A and C have antioxidant properties which help fight off free radicals and reduce oxidative stress and harm to your body. Oxidative stress is another root cause to mood disorders such as depression. Folate support methylation and the production of neurotransmitters such a serotonin assisting in stabilizing your mood.
Cruciferous Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, russel sprouts and cabbage. There are dense in folate and vitamin. However these cruciferous vegetables assist largely in assisting the liver metabolise estrogen. This is due to high levels of estrogen impairing mood.
Nuts and seeds are high in magnesium, zinc and selenium. These vitamins assist with maintaining a healthy function thyroid. The thyroid plays a large role in balancing your overall mood. These nutrients also ensure the body makes enough active thyroid hormone to enhance mood.
Foods to avoid are highly processed foods such as commercially baked goods, sugary beverages and fast foods. These foods will increase inflammation.
It is important to remember everyone's diet is individualised and some food will work better with your mood then others. Therefore it is important to trial all different foods to see what works for you and your mood. Also remember that diet is only one factor that impacts your health! Sleep, exercise, mindfulness and social connections all play a large role in your mood.