Festive blues: Feeling low could be down to diet – key dietary tips to boost your mood
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Mince pies, pigs in blankets and Quality Street all may be a staple of a good Christmas feast, however, a “poor-quality” diet and feeling low may be linked. A health portal reports that a diet like this could be even related to depression. Luckily, the antidote in the form of a healthy diet may help.
You’ve certainly heard about the benefits of a healthy diet on your physical well-being.
There are many tips and recipes offering the cure for high cholesterol, high blood sugar and other health conditions.
However, our physical health is not the only one affected by our diet choices as what we eat also affects our mental health and wellbeing, according to the Mental Health Foundation.
The Mayo Clinic explains that a poor diet, rich in processed meat, chocolates, desserts, fried food, and dairy products high in fat, can make you more likely to report symptoms of depression.
With chocolates, cheeses and sausage on the festive menu across the country, this description seems to fit the festive season.
But the research into this topic is complex and there’s a need for more studies, the American health portal adds.
Overall, there seems to be some sort of a connection between what we eat and how we feel.
First of all, there is ongoing communication between the gut and the brain as they send signals to each other, indicating hunger or being full.
Our gut can also slow down or speed up solely based on how we feel, the Mental Health Foundation states.
But recent studies have also brought information on how food can contribute to the development as well as prevention of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety disorders, as reported by the charity.
One particular study published on ResearchGate has focused directly on malnutrition and behaviour changes.
They found that your personality and behaviour can be affected by malnutrition, which further confirms the link between food and mood.
The good news is that a healthy diet may protect against depression and feeling low.
Foods such as vegetables, fruits and fish are linked to fewer reports of depression, the Mayo Clinic informs.
A specific diet that offers various benefits for your health is a Mediterranean-style diet.
Characterised by veggies, seafood, fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil, it can also help to reduce the symptoms of depression, the Mental Health Foundation explains.
This diet can also lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and heart disease.
This means that if your festive blues are caused by a poor diet, a healthy one may help.
But as more research is needed into this topic and if you feel worse than low, you should also seek other help.
The NHS stresses the importance of speaking to a doctor when you are depressed.
If you require immediate help, you can also speak to Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116 123 or email [email protected]
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