Is your food affecting your mood?

30 August 2017.

Guest blog by Helen Sanders, chief editor at Health Ambition.

 In this article, I’m going to explore the link between diet and mood, and share some pointers to help beat depression. For more information on this topic, check out my original blog

1. Be mindful of your diet

The first step in figuring out if your diet is negatively affecting your mood, is mindfulness.  Keep track of the food you are eating during an average day and how you feel after eating it, try to keep your food diary for at least a couple of weeks.

2. Ditch sugary, fatty, or processed foods

Sugary, fatty or processed foods are probably the biggest culprit behind diet–related depression.  They may seem super convenient and cheap, but trust me, your health is put at risk by their side effects!

Indulging once in a while won’t have a large effect on you, however if you are eating a diet high in these sorts of foods every day, you should definitely start taking note of how you feel after eating.

If you start eating whole foods, you may notice that you feel energized after you eat, whereas after a processed meal, you will more likely feel lethargic and heavy.  Start being mindful about what kind of meals you eat and steer clear of processed products, especially those containing sugar or greasy foods like chips, crisps or fried  meat.

3. Are you getting enough B vitamins?

A diet that is deficient in B vitamins can also have a negative impact on mood.

B12 and B6 play the biggest role-  Note: It’s common for people on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet to suffer from lack of B12 as it is only found in animal products.  If you are a vegan and start noticing negative changes in your mood, you may want to consider B12 supplements or adding nutritional yeast into your diet.

Vitamin B6, otherwise known as folate, can also have a significant effect on your mood.  Try adding more broccoli, avocado, citrus fruits and beans to your diet to increase your folate intake.

4. Check your iron levels

Having low levels of iron can cause symptoms similar to depression, such as extreme fatigue and irritability.

If you are vegetarian, vegan, or menstruate, and you notice symptoms such as these, be sure to get your iron levels checked.  Iron supplements are easily available, or you could try adding more spinach, lentils, seeds, or beans to your meals.

Final thoughts…

As I said before, simply start by being more mindful about what foods you are choosing to fuel you.  Take a few minutes each day to log what you are eating  and how you felt after eating it.  If you notice a trend of negative emotions and poor food choices, start making changes to your diet and you may soon start to feel a whole lot better!

Helen Sanders is chief editor at Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.

Original article published here:

Published In:DepressionDiet

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