Category Archives: Nutrition

Improve Your Mood With Good Nutrition & Exercise

image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Depression is difficult for anyone to deal with and your doctor can prescribe medicines or herbs to help in your battle against this debilitating condition.   Studies have shown that exercise and certain nutrients can help with the effectiveness of these medications.   Below are a few helpful tips to start you on your way to happier, more energetic days!

First be sure to eat at least 3 balanced meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day.  This will help to maintain your energy levels and keep your blood sugar from dipping too low.

Low calorie diets can reek havoc on your mood!   Dropping below 1,000 calories per day will reduce your intake of tryptophan, an amino acid needed to produce serotonin.  Lower serotonin increases depression.

Omega 3’s can also help to reduce depression.   You’ll find this in cold water fish (Salmon), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, and eggs fortified with omega 3.

Cut back on caffeine.  This will interfere with sleep and can increase anxiety

Eat GOOD carbohydrates.   We’re not talking about white bread, and sugary snacks here!  Get a good serving or two of brown rice, whole grain bread or cereals, fruits and lots of veggies.  This will increase your serotonin levels; strive for 130g per day.

Exercise Daily!!   Any exercise at all.  It doesn’t have to be lifting weights, or a 45-minute cardio session.   Going for a walk, gardening, a bike ride, any movement at all helps to alleviate stress.   A cardio workout that gets you into your target zone (use your heart rate monitor!) will release endorphins; a peptide occurring in the brain tissue that acts like an opiate and increases the pain threshold.

Eating right and exercise can help in dealing with depression but you do need to see your doctor and get support from family and friends as well as a professional.