Diet & Nutrition

Food and mood

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There are more and more food products on supermarket shelves that claim to enhance mood and boost mental function. So, how does food affect your mood? And even if you feel good now, are there foods that can make you feel even better?
You are what you eat:
According to a UK study – The Food and Mood Project – food can have a considerable impact on our mood. Eighty percent of the people surveyed for the study reported significant improvement in mood swings, depression and anxiety when their eating style was based on “supporter foods”, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, wholegrain foods, oily fish and water.
The researchers also found that “stressors” on mood were foods containing excessive refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol. The foods identified as “stressors” initially stimulated the body, but eventually, left people feeling depleted and more stressed because they provided little nutrition.
Sanitarium’s Advice:
  1. Choose fruit and vegetables: They are top of the list when it comes to mood-boosting foods. Choose a range of foods in different colours to meet your nutritional needs each day.
  2. Make water your main drink: Drink at least two litres of water a day. Keep a water bottle at your desk or in your bag – its convenient and will help you keep track of how much you drink.
  3. Snack on nuts and seeds: Make snack packs by adding dried fruit to nuts and seeds, and keep them handy.
  4. Reduce “stressors”: Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and refined sugary foods such as lollies, poor-quality chocolate and soft drinks.
  5. Eat breakfast: It’s the best way to prepare yourself for the day. Wholegrain breads, cereals and muesli are great choices. During the cooler months, porridge with fruit and honey is both nutritious and comforting.
  6. Seek advice: It’s important to talk to a professional if you have been feeling down or depressed for more than two weeks.
Brought to you by The Sanitarium Nutrition Service, www.sanitarium.com.au

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