As we move into this holiday season, making dietary changes is low on the priority list for lots of us. Here at WellPsyche we are committed to brining you the latest information on all aspects of mental health and we are looking forward to focusing on the effects of diet and nutrition as we move into 2018.
As you are enjoying your favorite pies and family recipes over the next few weeks, we invite you to also digest the information we will be posting here. It is our hope that you feel empowered and knowledgable about your best nutrition approaches as the new year approaches and can start 2018 armed with new information designed to promote the best version of yourself, starting with simple food choices.
Your WellPsyche providers are dedicated to recommending the most evidence based approaches to health, including diet. Let’s kick off our nutrition-focused series by looking at some recent research about how our diets can influence our mood, sleep, and other aspects of mental and physical health.
To Start, Let’s Explore the Effects of Diet on Mood.
- All enjoyable foods stimulate endorphin release in the brain which can lead to an elevation in our mood.
- A deficiency of many vitamins is associated with psychological symptoms.
- Folate deficiency is often associated with depression.
- Thiamine has been associated with improved mood.
- Iron deficiency anaemia is associated with decreased enjoyment of activities and experiences, depression and exercise fatigue.
- Carbohydrate intake improves mildly dysphoric mood.
- The consumption of greater amounts of calories, saturated fat, and sodium has been associated with higher levels of negative mood.
- Some studies have demonstrated that vegetarians report significantly less negative emotion than omnivores.
- Metabolic syndrome is a predictive factor for the development of depression, and a larger waist circumference is associated with the development of metabolic syndrome and depression.
Sources: The Effects of Nutrient on Mood, Cambridge University (1999); Carbohydrate craving: A double-blind, placebo-controlled test of the self-medication hypothesis, Elsevier (2008); Which comes first in food–mood relationships, foods or moods? Elsevier (2012); Vegetarian diets are associated with healthy mood states: a cross-sectional study in Seventh Day Adventist adults, Nutrition Journal (2009); Association of the metabolic syndrome with depression and anxiety in Japanese men: A 1-year cohort study, Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews (2009)