October 1, 2023

Scieron

Health know-how

Happy Mood Food

Picture

Jenelle Croatto APD

We all know that nourishing, wholefoods are great for our physical health, but have you ever stopped to wonder what you should eat for a healthy brain?
The brain, like all organs in the body needs the right balance of nutrients to function at its best – and to boot, nutrition science has consistently shown a link between the foods we eat, how we feel and even our mood.

Highly processed foods, rich in refined sugars and saturated fat, have been associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety; whereas nutrient dense diets based on real, wholefoods (akin to the Mediterranean diet) have shown a reduced risk.
While it’s far reaching to say diet can cure a low mood, it can certainly help you feel more vibrant and to be your most healthy self.

Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with depression, and with the sun being a major source of this nutrient; it’s thought that reduced sunlight exposure over the winter months may contribute to the winter blues.

Dietary sources of vitamin D are scare, but two rich sources include oily fish e.g. salmon and sardines, and (this will surely surprise you) mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight! Just 100g that have been left in the sun for an hour will give you 100% of your vitamin D needs.  Amazing!

Omega 3 Fats

Great for heart health and also your brain! Fish is the number one dietary source, with smaller amounts found in eggs, lean red meats, walnuts and chia seeds.

Leafy Greens

No one will argue that your greens are great for your health, but did you know they can help lift your mood? Leafy greens are rich in folate, which can support good mood by boosting levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy.

Low-GI Carbs

Our brain is fuelled by blood glucose, and it functions at its best when there is a slow and steady supply.  Opt for low GI carbohydrates e.g. sweet potato, wholegrains and quinoa to give you sustained energy throughout the day and pass on refined, processed carbs which only lead to big peaks and troughs in blood glucose levels, affecting both your mood and energy levels.