Could what I eat help me feel better?
The simple answer is yes………
This doesn’t necessarily mean that by eating a particular food you might suddenly stop feeling low in mood, but there is evidence to suggest that eating healthily and considering when and what you eat or drink might help improve your mood.
You might think that eating healthily means not eating certain foods such as cakes, crisps or cutting back on drinking alcohol so you can lose weight. But eating healthily is about having a variety of food and drinks which collectively contain beneficial nutrients for your physical and mental health.
Is when I eat important?
If you experience low mood or maybe depression, you may struggle to have the motivation to cook a meal and may have long periods of the day when you are asleep. But even if you get out of bed late, still aim to have something to eat when you get up and try and eat or drink regularly during the day. It’s important as it’ll provide you with energy you require throughout the day.
Is what I eat important?
Food and drink contain a variety of nutrients, some such as Vitamin B, Omega 3 and 6, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, folic acid, have been considered to improve your mood and reduce lethargy and fatigue. The following foods have some of these beneficial nutrients:
fish – tuna, mackerel, anchovies
seafood – mussels, prawns, shrimps
dairy products – milk, eggs, yoghurt
pulses – pinto beans, blackeye beans, chickpeas
wholegrains – whole wheat pasta, brown rice, wholemeal bread
vegetables – avocadoes, kale, beetroot
fruit – bananas, raspberries, blueberries
nuts – peanut butter, almonds, brazil nuts
seeds – pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
oils – rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil
What if I lack the motivation to make a meal?
When you feel very low sometimes you feel tired and you have no desire to do anything other than curl up on the sofa and watch T.V. Thinking about making a meal can feel challenging so here are some ideas which might help:
• Have something to eat and drink when you get up, this doesn’t need to be cereal or toast, try a fruit and nut bar and a glass of orange juice
• Keep it simple – cooking a meal from scratch may not be possible, so try instead using tinned food (i.e. tin of sardines), packet food (wholegrain rice), frozen food (peas)
• Take some time each day to be outdoors, this might be just sitting in the garden or a short walk. Being outdoors helps release chemicals in your body which will you feel less fatigued and more positive
Want to find out more?
Do seek advice from professionals if you are concerned about your health or are having difficulty looking after yourself. And, if you have any medical concerns then please consult a professional before you make any major changes to your diet. For more general information the following websites are great!
If you have any further questions or concerns consider seeking advice from a medical professional.