For some food is the focus when we start a new year as it’s the time we usually start a new diet to shed the pounds we’ve accumulated over the festive period.
But it’s always easier to lose weight when you’re in a good place. So I thought I’d focus on foods that have a positive effect on our moods and mental well-being and those foods which we should be avoiding, rather than which diet might be the right one for us.
There are several foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and mental well-being. Such as:
1 Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been shown to have a positive effect on mood, as well as cognitive function and brain health.
2 Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to reduce inflammation and protect against stress.
3 Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can help to reduce stress hormones in the body. It's also a source of magnesium which is known to have a positive effect on mood, anxiety and sleep.
4 Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, are rich in magnesium and zinc. These minerals have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
5 Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are high in folate. Folate is essential for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, such as serotonin and dopamine.
6 Turmeric is a spice that contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to have a positive effect on mood and cognitive function.
7 Eggs are a good source of vitamin D, which has been linked to better mood and lower risk of depression.
And some of those we shouldn’t be eating as they can have a negative impact on mood and can worsen symptoms of depression:
1 Processed foods, such as fast food and snack foods, are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. These foods can cause rapid spikes and drops in blood sugar, which can lead to mood swings and feelings of irritability and depression.
2 Consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety and irritability, which can worsen symptoms of depression.
3 Alcohol is a depressant, and drinking too much can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It can also disrupt sleep, which can exacerbate symptoms of depression.
4 Trans fats, which are found in processed foods and some fried foods, can increase inflammation in the body, which has been linked to depression.
5 High-glycemic index foods, such as white bread, sugary cereals, and white rice, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, which can lead to mood swings, irritability, and depression.
6 Artificial sweeteners have been linked to an increased risk of depression, as well as other mental health issues.
Chose your food carefully. Wishing you a healthy New Year.