Better food, better mood.
It has been reported that 9.7% of the UK population suffers from anxiety, which can be combined with depression. Both are complex mental health issues and you should always seek help from your GP, however there maybe a few changes you can make to your diet that will help. These changes won't happen overnight, but there is growing evidence to suggest what nutrients you eat can play a useful role in brain health, giving you the best chance of staying on an even keel.
LIFESTYLE DOES MATTER
We all find our self under increasing pressures; it's really not surprising we find ourselves more mentally challenged than ever before, There is very little we can do to ease outside pressure, but we can change what we put in our mouths,
- The endorphins released by exercise can be an effective way of lifting your mood
- Food can be a very effective, valid, safe and affordable part of treatment for many of these types of disorders.
- When your brain and nervous system is adequately nourished it can directly affect how we respond to different situations and how quickly we can bounce back
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING
OMEGA-3 fatty acids -So fish such as salmon or Chai seeds
Vitamins B1- Leafy greens, pork and squashes such as butternut
Vitamin B5 - Broccoli eggs, Sunflower seeds
Vitamin B6 - in Bananas, sweet potatoes and turkey.
Vitamin B12 - eggs, salmon, red meat
Glutamine rich foods -Oats and walnuts, beef, dairy red cabbage are rich in this amino acid which is needed to produce GABA - which calms the nervous system
Magnesium - Leafy Greens, such as spinach and beans such as kidney beans contain the folates which are associated with depression, cashew nuts and quinoa
Selenium - Brazil nuts, prawns & Rye bread
Loose the white refined carbs, for whole grain low GI keep the blood sugar levels on an even keel, the prevention of energy peaks and troughs will all help with mood,
We all also know how hormones can affect the ladies moods as well!
These are the 5 hormone friendly nutrients you should include particularly if you have PCOS, PMS or if suffering from any type of menopausal symptoms, Or maybe you just feel tearful and low around that time of the month.
1 - Isoflavones
These are found in high levels in soy products, and are the most beneficial form of Phytoestrogens, Studies have shown eating 54mg of isoflavones for 6 weeks can cut the frequency of hot flushes by 20% and the severity by 26%, eating them daily can help balance of hormones in PCO's. Try TOFU - 100g tofu provides about 30mg isoflavones.
2- Omega- 3 fatty acids
These encourage the body to become more sensitive to insulin in PCOS, some studies have shown has Omega-3 daily for 6months had lower insulin, testosterone levels and had an improvement in body hair growth, It also helps smooth out premenstrual mood swings.- Try Salmon- salmon fillets have around 2g omega-3 fats.
This marvellous mineral has been show to help ease the emotional low surrounding PMS, and also helps reduce frequency of menopausal hot flushes - Try Spinach there is around 150mg magnesium in 200g serving spinach.
4- Vitamin B6
This is a vital nutrient in beating PMS, it helps the brain make the chemicals that control mood & behaviour, try- Chickpeas 200gs chickpeas contain 1mg, but also include bananas and potatoes.
At menopause, fibre helps to carry the old oestrogen out of the body, preventing it from re-circulating and pushing levels higher than they should be. High levels of oestrogen can raise the risk of breast cancer this also helps with PMS. With PCOS high fibre low GI foods help control insulin resistance. Try- Oats, we all should be eating 30g fibre per day, most of us are lucky to make 18g, 1 serving of porridge will give you 3g of fibre.