Brain Food

brainMany treatments these days can be pretty expensive. However, you can start a fantastic, low cost, risk free intervention with a healthy diet. According to Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, the brain uses at least 420 calories per day and needs omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil), fiber, coline, and a series of other important substances. Dr.Ramsey reports there are certain foods that have the potential to improve mood by providing these nutrients for the brain in greater amounts. When it comes to these nutrients, the more the merrier!

To gain a better understanding of how diet can affect mood, participants following the Mediterranean diet were tracked over the course of 4.4 years. Using the  Mediterranean diet, researchers weighed the consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereal, legumes, and fish. The results revealed that adhering to this diet lowered the risk for depression in the participants.

These findings encouraged further research to be done to investigate the relationship between healthy eating and improved mood. Researchers evaluated the effects of whole foods versus processed foods on the development of mood disorders in individuals. Whole foods (vegetables, fruit, and fish) were found to lower the odds of depression while processed foods increased the odds of depression.

Eating healthily is an easy and natural way to combat mood disorders that starts at home. Sometimes after a long day of work, it can be hard to avoid snacking on foods high in fat. One way to curb the cravings is to prepare a large bowl of fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the week. Put this bowl in the refrigerator, and use it for snacking throughout the week. This way when you need a snack, you already have a healthy one prepared. Another way to prevent overeating is to drink a tall glass of water before every meal. This not only keeps you hydrated, but fills you up so you eat the appropriate amount.

For more information on the relationship between food choices and mood disorders written in the Psychiatric Times, visit this website.