The foods we eat can have a profound effect on our moods. Healthy eating is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system and brain function, both of which are necessary for stable moods. When we don’t get enough of these nutrients, our moods can suffer.
Ever wonder why our moods decline when we’re hungry? Why do we get hangry?
Eating a nutritious diet is one of the best ways to help keep your moods in check.
Healthy foods contain nutrients that are known to have mood-boosting properties.
For example, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper brain function and have been shown to improve depression symptoms. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Other mood-enhancing nutrients include B vitamins, magnesium, iron and probiotics.
A lack of these nutrients can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which have been linked to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
In fact, did you know that protein consumption has been linked to higher levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are essential for mood regulation?
A diet rich in whole foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats, is important for maintaining a healthy mood.
The Problem With Processed Foods
Processed foods, on the other hand, can contribute to nutrient deficiencies and potentially worsen mood disorders.
Processed foods are often high in sugar, artificial ingredients, unhealthy fats and other additives that can disrupt the body’s natural balance and lead to inflammation.
Inflammation is a known trigger for mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
So, if you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s important to be mindful of the foods you’re eating and to make sure that you’re getting plenty of nutrient-rich whole foods.
While there is no one “perfect” diet for mental health, including plenty of nutrient-rich whole foods is a good place to start.
If you’re struggling with your mood, consider making changes to your diet and speaking with a registered dietitian or nutritionist about which foods may be beneficial for you.
Other Factors That Affect To Mood
Physical health goes beyond just the food we eat.
While eating a nutritious, healthy diet is important for maintaining good mental health, there are other factors that can affect our moods as well.
For example, sleep deprivation and stress can both take a toll on our mental health.
Making sure to get enough sleep and managing stress levels can help improve our moods and overall wellbeing.
A lack of exercise is also linked to low moods and can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
If you’re not getting enough physical activity, consider speaking with a doctor or certified personal trainer about starting an exercise program that’s right for you.
It’s also important to have a strong support system of family and friends.
People who feel isolated and alone are more likely to experience mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
If you’re feeling lonely, consider reaching out to family and friends or joining a club or group where you can meet new people.
In conclusion, what we eat — along with our lifestyle — plays a role in how we feel. Eating a nutritious diet that includes mood-boosting nutrients can lead to improved mood and keep our mental health in check.