While certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), they may help as part of an overall treatment plan. There’s more and more research indicating that, in some ways, diet may influence mood. We don’t know everything yet, but there are some interesting discoveries being made.
Basically the science of food’s affect on mood is based on this: Dietary changes can bring about chemical & physiological changes in our brain structure that can lead us to an altered behaviour.
How You Could Use Food to Boost Mood
So how should you change your diet if you want to try to improve your mood? Try these nine suggestions below. Try to combine as many as possible, because regardless of their effects on mood, most of these changes offer other health benefits as well.
1. Don’t Banish Carbs — Just Choose ‘Smart’ Ones
The connection between carbohydrates and mood is all about tryptophan, a nonessential amino acid. As more tryptophan enters the brain, more serotonin is synthesized in the brain, and mood tends to improve. Serotonin, known as a mood regulator, is made naturally in the brain from tryptophan with some help from the B vitamins. Foods thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain include fish and vitamin D.
Here’s the catch, though: While tryptophan is found in almost all protein-rich foods, other amino acids are better at passing from the bloodstream into the brain. So you can actually boost your tryptophan levels by eating more carbohydrates; they seem to help eliminate the competition for tryptophan, so more of it can enter the brain. But it’s important to make smart carbohydrate choices like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which also contribute important nutrients and fibre. russian food store
So what happens when you follow a very low carbohydrate diet? According to researchers from Arizona State University, a very low carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet was found to enhance fatigue and reduce the desire to exercise in overweight adults after just two weeks.
2. Get More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In recent years, researchers have noted that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts) may help protect against depression. This makes sense physiologically, since omega-3s appear to affect neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Past studies have suggested there may be abnormal metabolism of omega-3s in depression, although some more recent studies have suggested there may not be a strong association between omega-3s and depression. Still, there are other health benefits to eating fish a few times a week, so it’s worth a try. Shoot for two to three servings of fish per week.
The best health benefits are that Omega-3 Fatty Acids have 2 great effects on fat. Firstly these acids are lipogenic, meaning they turn OFF the fat storing gene. Yes, they stop you storing fat! Secondly they are lipolytic, which means they promote fat burning. Think of this for a second, they stop you storing fat and make you burn more. This isn’t some cheesy sales pitch or just bold outright lie – it’s TRUE!
Whether it’s baked, broiled or raw sashimi, eating salmon and other oily fish like mackerel and sardines can bring a smile to your face.
These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the latest wunderkind of the mood world. Though they may be best known for their heart-healthy qualities, omega-3s are also good for boosting your mood. “They are probably the hottest thing presently in terms of helping the brain heal and helping mood through eating properly,” said George Pratt, a clinical psychologist in private practice at Scripps Memorial Hospital in LaJolla, California.