- November 1, 2016
- Posted by: Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
- Category: Prevention & Healing
Nutrition is often ignored as a way to help with mood, depression, bouts of sadness, and many issues of mental illness.
If you have feelings of suicide, please, call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (Available 24 hours everyday.)
The information, opinion and tips in this article are meant to be of service and to expand your thought process regarding what may help with your overall mood. If you need additional care do not hesitate to reach out to a trusted source.
Is Your Mood Affected By What You Eat?
According to the National Institute on Health “A notable feature of the diets of patients suffering from mental disorders is the severity of deficiency in essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.”
Why are our medical doctors not prescribing supplements and a nutrient rich diet?
Can some people avoid pharmaceuticals completely if they are attending to their nutrition?
Can those that need pharmaceutical intervention benefit from better nutrition?
Research quoted in Nutritional Therapies For Mental Disorders shows that daily supplements of vital nutrients are often effective in reducing patients’ symptoms and that supplements containing amino acids have also been found to reduce symptoms.
In 2004 a documentary called “Super Size Me” made it’s debut. In this film Director Morgan Spurlock lived on fast food for an entire month. This wreaked havock on his system causing weight gain, a major dip in energy , sex drive and attitude. As well he suffered from issues similar to that of an addict such as only feeling “better” when he ate the fast food. This film offers a great example of how poor nutrition can affect you.
It is so important to put focus on nutrition when working on both your physical health and your mental health. Proper nutrition affects every area of life.
So how do we do this?
- Take a Probiotic. Anxiety levels, perception of stress and mental outlook may be improved with the addition of probiotics to your diet. I recommend Align Probiotic Supplement.
- Eat fermented foods. Kefir, Kombucha, and KimChi are just a few examples of fermented foods. These act as natural probiotics and may offer the same benefits of probiotics.
- Eat whole grains. Diets high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables may reduce anxiety, depression and mood swings.
- Eat foods high In Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Walnuts, flaxseed and certain fish such as anchovies, wild salmon and mackerel. These foods may help to stabilize blood sugar, improve mood and prevent depression. Check out my Fish & Seafood Recipe Board on Pinterest for inspiration.
- Supplement with Fish Oil. The American Psychiatric Association recommends that “that all patients with mood, impulse-control, or psychotic disorders should consume 1 gram of EPA + DHA per day. They also suggested that a supplemental dose ranging up to 9 grams may be beneficial (but any dose greater than 3 grams should be monitored by a physician).”
- Check your Vitamin D. Lack of Vitamin D has been linked with seasonal depression.
- Stay hydrated. 85% of brain tissue is water. Dehydration can cause headaches, alter mood and make it difficult to concentrate. When you are thirsty you are already on the way to dehydration so listen to your body and drink up. For your water needs click HERE.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine consumption can lead to trouble sleeping, irritabilty and feelings of anxiousness.
- Avoid sugar. A diet high in sugar can increase inflammation in the body. A study in JAMA Psychiatry shows that depressed people have brain inflammation that is 30% higher than average.
- Avoid processed/refined foods. Artificial sweeteners, additives, and refined sugar are justa few of the ingredients in these “foods” that can aggravate depression.
- Do not skip meals. When we skip meals we risk our blood sugar taking a nose dive. This can translate into low energy, inabiltity to concentrate, headaches and less resistance to foods that do not support our goals.
Further research shows that gluten, dairy and several other food related factors may affect mood. What has been your experience? have you explored with eliminating certain gods and boosting other foods so as to keep those feel good emotions strong?