As the days are getting shorter and colder we often start to get that blah feeling. Did you know that there is evidence that what we eat affects how we feel? The structure and function of our brain is derived directly from food. Here are some tips to eat well to feel well.
Your brain needs:
- Regular & Balanced Meals – Skipping meals can make you feel grumpy, tired, and blah (low mood).
- Healthy Carbohydrates & Fibre – Choose whole grains, starches, fruits, vegetables, and legumes to keep your energy levels up and prevent mood swings.
- Protein – Protein found in lean meat, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes, and nuts contain building blocks, which help form messengers in the brain. They play a role in making you feel content, calm, and happy.
- Healthy Fats – Choose omega-3 and other unsaturated fats. They help the communication in the brain occur more smoothly. Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, nuts, such as walnuts, and seeds such as flax.
- Water – Keep hydrated. Not enough fluids can make it hard to concentrate and make you feel grumpy.
- Vitamin D – Research shows there may be a link between low vitamin D levels and depression and anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if you need a supplement.
In general, a diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
For more information and ideas on eating well, see Canada’s Food Guide.
If you would like to speak to a Registered Dietitian phone Dial-a-Dietitian toll-free at 1-877-830-2892.
To connect with a dietitian in Prairie Mountain Health phone 1-877-509-7852.
To connect with Community Mental Health Services in Prairie Mountain Health phone 1-204-578-2400.
Dietitians of Canada (2012). The Role of Nutrition in Mental Health Promotion and Prevention.
Prairie Mountain Health (2018). Good Food for a Good Mood. Pamphlet
Mental Health Foundation. (2006) The role of diet in relation to mood and general wellbeing. In Feeding Minds: The impact of food on mental health (Section 3) [PENN]. Retrieved in MHF-FeedingMinds-final.pdf from www.mentalhealth.org.uk.