Seven foods to help boost your mood, naturally
We are what we eat, particularly when it comes to our mental health.
If you’re reaching for the chips to cope with the boredom and stress of COVID-19, welcome to the club. The age of coronavirus practically demands a constant diet of comfort food, as acknowledged by the ‘quarantine 15’ memes riffing on the inevitable weight gain from being locked down… with snacks.
But before you use lockdown as an excuse to finish the entire salt and vinegar family pack, think again. Not only will those comfort calories likely compel the purchase of a larger size of pants, we now know they can wreak havoc with mental health.
“There is a very clear and direct link between quality of people’s diets and mental health,” says Dr Felice Jacka, Director of Deakin University’s Food and Mood Centre, who leads a multi-disciplinary team spearheading globally significant research into the link between diet and mind.
Her research has demonstrated that improving the diet of people with moderate to severe clinical depression will have a substantial benefit for their mental health.
“All of the data shows the impact of diet on the brain, immune system and gut microbiome. The fact people can take control of their mental health and help themselves by changing their diet is a very powerful message. It’s a very cost-effective way of treating the whole person.”
Even for those not suffering a mood disorder such as anxiety or depression, there’s a compelling body of scientific knowledge pointing to the fact that what we eat plays a large part in our sense of wellbeing.
The BBC’s everyman medical commentator Dr Michael Mosley attributes his own improved mental health to understanding the mind and body connection and has changed his diet accordingly. And closer to home, both Beyond Blue and Victoria’s health department are waving the flag for the food and mood message.