Eating the right food can help improve your mood.
We know that the food you eat affects your mood through chemical changes that affect your body’s hormones. When it comes to mood, everybody needs a little pick-me-up once in a while. In fact, it’s perfectly natural to have ups and downs in your mood from day-to-day, week-to-week, or month-to-month. If you feel like you’d like to improve your baseline level of positivity, a few nutrition changes can make a difference.
Let me first start by stating that the nutrition advice below is for general advice only and is not intended to treat depression or any other mental health issue. Although nutrition strategies may assist in reducing the severity of severe depression, they are never a substitute for appropriate medical care.
With that said, here are a few things you can do to improve your mood:
1) Reduce your sugar intake
Most people know the effects of having too much sugar on their mood. Temporary energy and euphoria is followed by a crash that makes you feel worse than when you started. Reduce your sugar intake, particularly sources of refined sugar like baked goods, milk chocolate, and syrups, and you’ll diminish the frequency of these roller coasters. Keep in mind that refined carbs like bread are treated like sugar in the body, so you’ll want to cut those down too…if not eliminate them completely.
2) Have protein with each meal
Again, you want to reduce the insulin spikes that send you crashing down (physically and mentally) and adding protein to each meal assists this process.
3) Take Omega-3 fats
The health benefits of Omega-3 fats, found mainly in fish oil, are well established, and recent research seems to indicate that omega-3s can be used in conjunction to drug therapy for major depressive disorder. A deficiency of Omega-3 fats makes you more prone to suffering depression and low moods so if you don’t eat Omega-3-rich foods like fish and enriched eggs regularly you’ll might consider supplementing with fish oil capsules.
4) Take Curcumin
Recent research indicates that curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, could reduce depression nearly as much as a pharmaceutical drug. 1000mg a day was the dose used in one study, and this amount appears to be safe to use. At the very least, you can add turmeric to your cooking or make it into a tea.
Every food you eat affects your body in some way. If you’re consistent with making right changes you’ll notice your mood shifting to the sunny side a lot more often.
Freeman, F.P. Omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2009. 70 Supp 5:7-11.
Panahi, Y., Badeli, R., Karami, N., Sahebkar, A. Investigation of the Efficacy of Adjunctive Therapy with Bioavailability-Boosted Curcuminoids in Major Depressive Disorder. Phytother Research. 2014. doi:10.1002/ptr.5211. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print]