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Diet and Mood – How They're Intertwined?

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Akash Jadhav
Diet and Mood – How They're Intertwined?

It is well known that unhealthy eating patterns can cause mood swings. Blood sugar fluctuations and nutritional imbalances are often to blame. Without a steady source of fuel from the foods we eat, our minds and bodies don't function well.

Balanced dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, and lean protein such as chicken and fish, and low in red meat and healthy fats have been associated with a lower risk of depression or depressive symptoms, while high-fat Western diets and sugar-sweetened beverages have been associated with a higher risk of depression

Diet with low levels of zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids is associated with worsening mood and decreased energy. Eating too many refined carbohydrates, and high intakes of unhealthy, processed carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries, cause blood sugars to rise and fall rapidly.

Doctors and dietitians would recommend an overall healthy, high-quality dietary pattern, not only for the potential to reduce depression risk but also for overall lower risk of other chronic conditions, which in themselves may later increase the risk of depression. In fact, many believe that good nutrition is as important to mental health as it is to physical health. Here are some positive changes you can make to improve your eating to support your mental health:

·        Eat at set intervals throughout the day

·        Choose less refined sugars and eat more whole grains

·        Include proteins in each meal

·        Eat a variety of foods

·        Include omega-3 rich foods, like oily fish, in your diet

·        Reach and maintain a healthy weight

·        Drink plenty of fluids, especially water

·        Get regular exercise

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Akash Jadhav
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