Good Food, Good Mood

The links between eating habits and depression have been studied extensively, and to date, it appears that a diet high in sugar and processed foods can in fact put you at higher risk of developing depression.

What we eat affects our hormones, metabolism and neurotransmitters.These elements affect our mood. Consuming foods high in sugar is often a natural response from people to deal with stress. The body sense stress, then signals the need for a quick burst of energy in the form of something sweet. This is what we call emotional eating, and can also be part of depression

These are foods to focus on including in your diet if you suffer moody spells…

Fruit and vegetables: You might want to reach for that chocolate ice-cream when you’re feeling down, but that sugar and fat will NOT make you feel better. The antioxidants found in beautiful fresh fruits and veggies, as well as Folate and B vitamins contribute to better, more steady moods. As if a big juicy bowl of sweet watermelon isn’t going to cheer you up!

Fish: Low serotonin levels are found in people with depression, suicidal and aggressive tendencies. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, tuna and sardines work to increase your serotonin levels and produce Dopamine, the “reward” chemical that the brain releases.

Herbal tea: Feeling frustrated and lacking concentration? Herbal tea can assist with feelings of clarity and cognitive function. Specifically, ginger tea has been found to be particularly effective. You can buy pre-made ginger tea or steep a piece of fresh ginger in hot water for ten minutes. Add a sprinkle of turmeric. Mix in a teaspoon of raw honey to cut the sharpness and get that antimicrobial boost.

Instead of reaching for food as a coping mechanism when you’re stressed, frustrated or down, get up and move around. Go for a brisk walk for 15 minutes or do some stretching. You’d be surprised how much being sedentary in front of a computer all day can pull your mood down!

 

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