Everyone knows that a brisk walk or a coffee with friends will lift their mood, yet surprisingly few are aware that a change in diet could do the same. So instead of reaching for the tranquilizers or antidepressants, try the following:
1) Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. When people feel tired or low, they often grab a sugary snack to give them a boost. But the body responds to this by releasing insulin and glucagon to break the sugar down and control the amount in your bloodstream. In turn, this leads to the so-called ‘sugar crash’ as blood sugar levels drop, along with concentration, mood, and energy.
2) Reduce the amount of dairy you consume. Excessive calcium intake unbalances the body’s magnesium levels, which can lead to depression. Many people are also slightly intolerant to dairy produce, though they go through life quite unaware of this. But eating foods to which you have an intolerance will lower your mood and throw out your sleeping patterns.
3) Cut junk food out of your diet. The more donuts, pizzas, burgers, and fizzy drinks you consume, the more strain you place on your liver and detox system. When this system becomes strained, the liver grows sluggish and toxins find their way into the bloodstream. In turn, this interferes with healthy brain function and lowers mood.
4) Eat more fruits and vegetables. Try to make the bulk of your diet raw fruits and vegetables. If possible, buy organic. Not only do fruits and vegetables contain the nutrients vital for a healthy body, they also contain dietary fibre, which will control blood glucose levels, crucial for a stable, healthy mood.
5) Increase the fatty acids in your diet. These specialised fats, found in oily fish, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, help the brain cells function at their best. The omega 3 fats also slow down the absorption of sugar, thus stabilizing blood sugar levels.
6) Drink more water. Few people drink as much water as they should. But adequate water intake is vital for hormonal function and stable blood sugar levels. It is also needed by the liver in breaking down and excreting toxins; the build-up of such toxins is often at the root of depression.
7) Eat good quality protein. In their rush to improve eating habits, people sometimes overdo the fruits and vegetables. Though these should form the bulk of your diet, it is also important to include good quality protein. Protein gives the body the amino acids it needs for the manufacture of healthy brain cells. So add chicken, turkey, beans, eggs, nuts, and seeds to your new diet.
In the hope of cheering themselves up, people will go on shopping sprees, take drugs, drink alcohol, and run up debts. Yet with a few simple changes to your diet, you might find your mood improves out of all recognition.