There are times when I come across research that exites me. The kind of stuff that leads directly to positive change in my lifestyle. This week it was an article about food that counters feelings of depression and makes you happier. In this LifeLine, I share three tips on which foods to choose and why.
As the nutritional psychiatrist Drew Ramsey succinctly highlights “Every molecule in your brain starts at the end of your fork”.
The cells in our brain are primarily made from a long-chain Omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. Eating foods high in Omega-3 fats fights depression, Alzheimer’s disease and boosts memory.
More and more research has shown links between our gut and our brain. 95% of serotonin (our happy hormone) is produced in our gut.
What we eat affects how we feel.
In clinical trials, it has been demonstrated that a poor ‘beige’ diet can shoot the risk of depression up to 80% whereas a broadly based Mediterranean diet brings the risk of depression down 50%.
We are living in a time where mental health issues are increasing dramatically. The evidence shows that to feel right we need to eat right.
The evidence shows that to feel right we need to eat right.
Three Tips On Eating Your Way to Happiness:
- Create a rainbow on your plate. Leafy greens (watercress, kale, swiss chard) are packed with Vitamins K, C, A and phytonutrients and is high in fibre. These will make your gut happy. Add in colours like red tomatoes and peppers for lycopene which boosts mental health, eyesight and helps prevent dementia and many cancers. For inspiration check out these recipes from Jamie Oliver.
- Omega-3 fats play a big part in brain health. These can be found in seafood; mussels, clams, scallops, anchovies, sardines and salmon are especially rich in them. Do your brain a favour and enjoy these as part of your diet. Ceviche (cut fish thinly and add lime juice) is a fun and easy way to prepare them
- Nuts and herbs also play a key role in brain nutrition. If you ever suffer from sluggishness or brain fog it might be a sign of iron deficiency. Nuts like cashews and almonds and seeds like pumpkin seeds are high in iron. Having a little herb garden and scattering them over your foods adds a burst of flavour, and boosts the nutrient content.