You want to know which foods can influence your mood? Then this course is for you! Learn to distinguish between 'good mood foods' that bring out the best in you and 'trigger foods' that can have a negative impact on your mood, while understanding the concept of 'mindful eating'.From the author:“Diet & Mental Health Developed by Marley Spoon, this course is designed to explore our brain-gut connection, which refers to the communication between our central nervous system and the enteric nervous system that connects cognitive and digestive behaviour. In this course, you will learn about certain "good mood foods" that can bring out the best in you and "trigger foods" that can have a negative impact on your mental health. Take this course to keep your gut healthy and your mind happy!”
Food & Mood
We know there is a clear association between diet and mental health, especially depression.
We also know that a great part of the world's population struggles to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating.
.. could there be a link?
These sensations emanating from your belly suggest that your brain and gut are connected.
What’s more, recent studies show that your brain affects your gut health and your gut affects your brain health.
A scientific study, known as the SMILES* trial, was the first intervention study to test dietary improvement as a treatment strategy for depression. *SMILES = Supporting the Modification of Lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States
This study has helped to form a building body of evidence that supports the notion that eating at least 30 different plants across the course of the week was found to optimise gut health and as such, optimise your mood.
So, what can we do to improve our overall health? Aim for a variety of: Vegetables Fruits Whole-grains Nuts Lentils Legumes Seeds This provides our body with a broad variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and different fibres.
Quantity and diversity of plants leads to a healthy gut..
... and a healthy gut increases our likelihood of living a healthier and happier life.
Good Mood Foods
1.) B Group Vitamins
B Group Vitamins are involved in neuronal function and processes in our brain. Their intake is linked to general brain health, such as memory and recall.
B Group Vitamins can be found in wholegrains, vegetables, lean meats & legumes.
How to include them? Swap out a refined grain for wholegrain! Example: Instead of using white bread, use wholegrain bread.
What is Resistant Starch? Resistant Starch is a type of fibre that resists digestion. It acts as food for our gut bacteria and helps to maintain good gut health, while also promoting a healthy digestive system.
3.) Omega 3s
Omega 3s are healthy fats that are essential for brain development and function.
Research suggests that Omega 3s may help reduce the symptoms of depression. This is because it makes it easier for serotonin (the happy hormone) to pass through our brain and through cells in our body.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is required for serotonin production. It also supports sleep.
Tryptophan can be found in various animal proteins (e.g. red meat, chicken, salmon), nuts, dairy and eggs.
Try to include one tryptophan source with each dinner to help support a good night's sleep.
Caffeine also increases circulation of the stress hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol.
This can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Because it is absorbed into our blood stream so quickly, we often experience a ‘sugar high’, which is then followed by an energy slump.
This energy slump may leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued, often creating the desire for more sugar - chasing another energy hit. This is why we experience sugar cravings.
When looking for snacks, try to choose fresh fruit, dairy or whole-grains before reaching for processed foods.
Alcohol is a toxin that is metabolised by our liver to be eliminated from the body. Regular and **heavy alcohol consumption ** can lead to serious liver damage.
Alcohol can be addictive as it releases dopamine, a hormone associated with pleasure and reward.
This circulating dopamine may encourage people to drink more alcohol, in an attempt to harness more of these feelings.
The question is: How much is too much?
Drinking within the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines will enable healthy adults to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-released disease or injury.
The NHMRC recommends no more than 2 standard drinks a day.
However, the less, the better. No level of drinking alcohol can be guaranteed as completely safe.
5 Steps Here are 5 simple steps to practice mindful eating. We encourage you to either grab a snack and you can join along or jot them down and then try these steps at your next meal!
Step 1: Sit down Take a seat whenever you eat.
Avoid nibbling and picking at things, sit down with the meal in front of you.
Limit all other distractions and give your fullest attention to your food.
Step 4: Slow Down
Pace it, DON’T race it. Chew every mouthful of food and take your time to really enjoy your meal.
Step 5: Stop All good things must come to an end. The aim here is to feel full and satisfied, not overstuffed or bloated.
We are much aware of the food we take in our daily lives. Great lessons!