It’s fascinating to learn how much food can influence our mood. I believe it is no coincidence that depression and other mood disorders have increased dramatically since the introduction of lots of processed food with added sugar into the Western diet.
We seek ways to improve our happiness in a variety of ways, when the simplest solution may be to change what we eat. Let’s take a look at a few key ingredients and nutrients that have been shown to have a direct impact on our mood.
Fatty Acids Omega 3
I’m sure you’ve heard of this fatty acid found in fatty fish as well as certain seeds and nuts. Another fatty acid is Omega 6, and from what I’ve read, an important balance between omega 3 and omega 6 is required.
Depression is one of the side effects of having far more omega 6 than omega 3 (which is often the case in a diet high in processed foods).
We get the blues more in the winter because we can’t get outside and get some sun. A lack of vitamin D is a major cause of this mood swing.
With the introduction of strong sunscreen and a global health policy that warns us about sun exposure and advises us to cover up or wear sunscreen, it’s no surprise that vitamin D deficiency has become a major problem that also has a negative impact on our mood.
Being happy requires energy, and B vitamins are an important component in ensuring that we get the energy we require from our foods.
This entire group of micronutrients plays a significant role in how energized we feel. Make sure you’re getting enough to feel your best.
Last but not least, let us discuss magnesium. This is becoming more of an issue as our soils become depleted of magnesium and less of this mineral makes its way into our food. Insomnia can be caused by a lack of magnesium, and you know how important a good night’s sleep is to your overall well-being.
While you may want to consider supplementing with some of these nutrients to fill the gap left by your diet, a much better long-term strategy is to work on cleaning up your diet.
The more processed foods you can eliminate in favor of fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality meats, and healthy fats, the better. In other words, eat a healthy diet rich in whole foods and you’ll begin to feel better.
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