These tips will help improve the quality of your food and improve your mood.
The psychology of nutrition is still a very young direction in science. Today, studies only suggest that the most important thing in the diet is the quality of food. Here are four ways to improve your diet:
- Go back to basics. A diet that emphasizes unprocessed foods — regardless of whether certain types of whole grains or dairy products are included in the diet — improves mental health. In other words, everything that expert nutritionists repeated to us year after year as a mantra turned out to be true. Eat more colored vegetables and fruits, lean protein, whole grains and minimize the consumption of processed and fatty foods.
- Avoid junk food and bad snacks. Life in a constant rush makes us eat a lot of junk food, fast food, convenience foods. They only enhance the feeling of stress that we already experience. In modern society, it is not customary to give way to stress, there is no place to relieve stress, so stress overwhelms us and at some point internal stress breaks through the dam. When the levels of dopamine and serotonin, the two main chemical neuro-mediators to improve mood, drop, we rush for harmful fast carbohydrates. This food increases inflammation in the intestines, leading to oxidative stress in the brain, which means serotonin and dopamine levels drop again. It's a vicious circle. Tear it up and still take the time to cook at home. Or at least choose the right cooked dishes in the cafe - it should be food low in fat and lean proteins, whole grains and fermented foods, most of the servings should be occupied by vegetables.
- Eat more fermented foods. Such products, for example, include: kefir and other fermented milk products, kimchi (Korean sauerkraut), miso soup (Japanese fermented soya bean paste), sauerkraut, kombucha. All of them contain probiotic bacteria, which, according to scientists, heal the intestinal microflora. Some yogurts are also fermented, but not all. Therefore, check the labels: they should say "with live and active cultures" and "sugar free" on them. As a result of studies in 2013, scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) found that if there is fermented yogurt with probiotics twice a month for a month, then activity in those areas of the brain that are responsible for emotions and sensations increases. How the components of yogurt can affect mood is still not clear. There is no consensus in science about exactly which probiotic supplements work more efficiently and which types of bacteria are more beneficial for mental health. Increase the dose of fermented food in the diet. And probiotic supplements make sense to those with severe anxiety or depression syndrome.
- Focus on products containingtotal vitamins B and D. Patients with depression often show low levels of vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin B12. From here scientists do
the conclusion that these nutrients are important for normal brain function and mental health. Low levels of vitamin D are also associated with depression. Here is a list of products that will help restore the deficiency of these vitamins: spinach, green beans, asparagus - they are full of folic acid; dairy products - they contain a lot of vitamin B12; Vitamin D is found in milk, cheese, and vegetable and butter.