Everything we put into our body affects our well-being in many ways and good nutrition can help boost mood, reduce anxiety and depression and therefore keep us feeling on top of things in times of stress.
It’s at these tense times that good nutrition is very important. Read on to discover the best foods to reduce stress and boost mood, how the Mediterranean diet can help and to learn more about the biology behind the gut-to-brain connection and how it affects emotions.
Fat and Sugar Cravings
Try Going Mediterranean To Support Nutrition and Emotions
omega-3 fatty acids
- plant-based protein
What does the Mediterranean diet consist of?
plenty of vegetables
beans and pulses
nuts and seeds
good quality olive oil
- low intake of dairy products (mainly yoghurt and some cheeses)
low-to-moderate amounts of dairy products, fish, and poultry
very little red meat
eggs up to four times a week
low-to-moderate amounts of wine
An added bonus is that a diet following these guidelines also tends to deliver good amounts of the nutrients needed to support your immune system.
Foods to Avoid
Several studies have shown that people who follow a western diet, which typically is high in refined and processed foods, are more likely to have major depression or persistent mild depression.
A 2010 study showed that women who ate unhealthy western-style diets had more psychological symptoms. The foods that these participants were eating included:
- processed foods
- fried foods
- refined grains, such as white bread
- sugary products
Interestingly it’s these unhealthful dietary patterns that typically lead to obesity, diabetes, and other physical health problems. These conditions can also contribute to poor mental health.
Your Gut and Emotions