How your mood is shaped by your diet

Stress

There are some foods that can help boost your mood. There are also other foods that can trigger anxiety,sadness and depression. Read more in this blog...

Which foods to boost & which to avoid!

This article discusses the role of diet in shaping your mood and how different foods can stabilise mood while others create more erratic moods that leave you feeling all over the place.

Foods to avoid

As I mentioned in a previous blog, a lot of the reason why diet is so important to a stable mood is because of the role that it plays in influencing which bacteria survive and thrive in your gut. It's the bad bacteria which can make you aggravated, depressed, unable to think clearly and which can leave you feeling all over the place and so ideally, you want to make sure that your diet is not feeding these ones and instead nurturing the good bacteria in your gut. When it comes to feeding bad bacteria, things like refined or processed sugar, highly processed carbohydrates and bad fats are all on their favourites list. For this reason, you ideally want to stay away from these types of foods.

Foods to boost good bacteria

Since bad bacteria can do harm to your mood, it reasons that good bacteria can boost your mood (by producing mood lifting chemicals) and interestingly, this is exactly what scientists are starting to discover, especially in the field of psychiatry. To help these good bacteria grow, you want to try and create a healthy diet which is low sugar, high fibre and filled with good healthy proteins and oils.

Looking after the brain

In addition to looking after the good bacteria in your gut, the other way to boost your mood is by looking after your brain. Some easy ways to keep the brain at its’ best include drinking lots of water (to keep you hydrated and thinking clearly) and providing your brain with the essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids which it needs in order to produce the calming neurotransmitters which keep your mood stable. For this reason, a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, raw nuts and seeds, good fats and healthy proteins can be really beneficial. If needed, your healthcare practitioner may also prescribe specific nutritional supplements if there is evidence that you need extra support.

Reducing inflammation

Recent scientific evidence has identified that mood disorders and memory loss are related to chronic inflammation in the body and brain. To assist in reducing inflammation, try increasing the amount of plant foods with dark pigment or bright colours (i.e. berries), as well as increasing good oils (i.e. salmon/sardines, avocado, walnuts/almonds, virgin olive oil).

When to seek help

There are some situations where doing our best to improve our mood may not be enough and we need a helping hand. If you find yourself constantly overwhelmed by anxiety, depression or negative emotions, it is important to seek the help of a qualified healthcare practitioner, counsellor or psychologist. If you're not sure if you need help, one great tool is to start a month-long mood journal in which you circle or state the primary emotion you've experienced that day. This can help you identify your most common emotional state and potentially help identify triggers and management opportunities when discussed with your healthcare practitioner.

Wishing you great health,

Dr Pete

PS. you are welcome to share this with friends and family

About Dr Pete

Dr Peter Holsman is a qualified Medical Practitioner, Naturopath and Professional Speaker based in Melbourne. An expert in his field with over 30 years experience, he specialises in treating people with fatigue related illnesses including stress, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid and adrenal hormone problems.

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