Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal made waves in the medical community when they made a claim that certain foods can prevent and even treat depression. Despite the current debate, scientists, doctors and nutritionists have all been sharing similar warnings and recommendations for years!
Although depression can arise for a multitude of reasons, studies have shown that improving your diet has undeniable health benefits. Making the effort to increase your intake of whole fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and reducing intake of red meat can provide your body and brain necessary nutrients to improve function.
The connection between your lunch and your mood is closer than you think. Here’s what you need to know to liven up your food choices throughout the day and avoid the midday slump:
Ditch fried foods, sugar, and soft drinks. Sugar is often compared to potent narcotics. It’s known to affect cellular inflammation, insulin and dopamine levels. All of which, power mood swings associated with challenges with mental health.
If you think artificial sweeteners will solve this problem think again! Ingredients like Aspartame commonly found in artificial sweeteners, tamper with the body’s natural serotonin levels causing headaches, insomnia and… depression.
Fried foods are largely unexpected to affect mood but it may actually be a silent killer, literally. Your favorite french fries and other fried foods are notoriously known for containing hydrogenated oils and therefore trans fats. Trans fats can contribute to more than just an increasing waistline. They can clog arteries and decrease blood flow to the brain, which impairs your ability to think clearly. Perpetually feeling tired and confused can increase feelings of sadness and frustration.
Embrace (good) bacteria. Fermented foods have become “trendy” over the past couple of years - kimchi and kombucha being a couple foodie favorites. Although the idea of consuming LIVE bacteria does not sound appetizing these sour foods can actually be the key to improve your overall health.
The “good” bacteria found in fermented foods aids your digestion in replacing bad bacteria in your intestines. This can ease abdominal discomfort and improve production of serotonin which is responsible for brightening up your mood!
Explore new ingredients! Approach healthy eating like you would traveling somewhere new. Source the freshest ingredients and discover exotic flavors. Start by trying out new vegetables, legumes and ancient grains. Studies are showing diets rich in health fats like olive oil, seafood, and greens can drastically improve your mood.
A great diet is not a replacement for therapy or medication, yet. But if eating more fruits and vegetables can improve our environment, our health, and our mood, we should definitely give it a try!
So what are we having for lunch? - SaladBox Miami
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