The link between food and mood simply lies in getting enough of the “good stuff” found in the right foods. The human diet nowadays consists of a lot of ‘junk’ food with very little nutritional value which makes people more anxious, tired, depressed, confused and lethargic, and often leads to weight gain and ill health, which has further negative effects on mood and self esteem.
The most important thing is to eat regularly and include the main food groups in your daily diet: wholegrain cereals (such as rice, wheat, quinoa, corn, and wholemeal bread); lots of natural fruit and vegetables; meat, fish, eggs beans, lentils, potatoes; nuts and seeds, and fats such as olive oil , unsaturated and Omega-3 rich foods such as pilchards, mackerel, tuna, salmon and olives] Not eating regularly means your blood sugar will drop, and your mood will drop with it. Depression and Anxiety can often be caused by consistently low blood sugar levels! And this is made much worse by eating refined foods which are often high in sugars, carbohydrates and fats! (Which do feel as though they give you a 'lift', but leave you anxious and depressed as they quickly leave your digestive system. Your therapist will help and support you on your journey to optimal nutrition for optimal health.
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• Tryptophan: an amino-acid that the body uses to help make serotonin, which is known to modulate mood, emotion, sleep and appetite. Tryptophan is found in bananas, walnuts, turkey, sunflower seeds, milk, eggs, cheese, brown rice, chicken and fish.
• B-vitamins: these vitamins help the process your body uses to get or make energy from food, so not getting enough B-vitamins in your diet can make you lethargic and even depressed. A lack of B6 or B12 can also cause anaemia. Foods that are rich in B-vitamins include whole grains (such as wheat and oats), fish and seafood, poultry and meats, eggs, milk, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas.
• Omega-3 fatty acids: essential fatty acids which are important to your overall health and wellbeing, and notably for nerve and brain function. Good sources of omega-3 are oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), omega-3 eggs (check the box), walnuts, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds.
• Sweet Potatoes are full of B vitamins folate and B6 which can help to alleviate premenstrual symptoms and depression. They also help to keep blood sugar levels steady and therefore help to prevent mood swings and sugar cravings.
• Bananas give a sustained energy boost and are packed with vitamins and tryptophan. They are also packed with potassium, levels of which can be depleted by stress.
• Leafy greens such as broccoli are an excellent source of folic acid, a lack of which has been linked to a depressed mood.
• Avocados contain tryptophan, vitamin B6 and folic acid.
• Oatmeal is rich in soluble fibre which helps to smooth out blood sugar
levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood.
• Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamin folate, low levels of which have
been linked to depression. Lentils are a great food for vegetarians as they also contain protein.
Dehydration can cause headaches, mood changes, lethargy, poor concentration and slower responses. Try to drink about 1.2 litres (6-8 glasses) a day, and more if you are very active or it is a hot day.
• Eat regularly to prevent blood sugar levels dropping.
• Try to eat foods that release energy slowly to keep your blood sugar levels
steady for longer.
• Make sure you get enough essential vitamins and minerals in your food.
• How you feel physically affects your mood – look after your body.
But do remember YOU are unique. OpenDoors can work with you, to discover your unique formula for optimum health and happiness...
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