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Can what you eat make you a happier person?

The Healthy EmployeeDiet & mood Can what you eat make you a happier person?

Can what you eat make you a happier person?

There is ever growing evidence that the food you eat will have a dramatic impact on your emotional and psychological health. One study has shown that eating large quantities of baked goods such as cakes and muffins may increase your risk of developing depression. In stark contract to this, a study has found that eating foods rich in zinc can help to combat depression. Foods containing generous quantities of zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry, beans and nuts.

It’s normal to have worse weeks than others when it comes to eating unhealthy food. But you may find that this goes hand in hand with increased lethargy and grumpiness.

Research has shown that there are no magic foods or ingredients that will enable perfect mental health. Nor can food solely compensate all areas of negative psychological and emotional health. However, a combination and variety of vitamins and minerals have been revealed to be beneficial in certain areas of mental health. For example, magnesium has been shown to improve sleep problems, not only that, but a lack of them can increase your likelihood of unpleasant psychological and emotional symptoms such as fatigue and lethargy.

Vitamins/minerals

Psychological/emotional improvements

Foods

Magnesium

Improves sleep problems 

spinach, pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, almonds

Zinc

Balances hormones and can improve mood swings  

lamb, beef, cashews, pumpkin seeds

Iron

Improves energy levels and increases brain function   

liver, beef, lentils, dark chocolate

Vitamin B12

Improves energy, memory and mood  

beef, liver, salmon, mackerel 

Vitamin D

Decreases symptoms of depression and anxiety. Improves insomnia and hormone regulation, as well as memory, concentration and learning capacity

halibut, mackerel, mushrooms, salmon

Vitamin E

Improves anxiety and fatigue

sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, mango

Copper

Maintains energy and increases brain processes and mental functioning 

liver, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, mushrooms

Selenium

Improves stress coping mechanisms 

Brazil nuts, eggs, tuna, sunflower seeds

Vitamin K

Improves brain function

swiss chard, spring onions, Brussels sprouts, kale

However, these vitamins and minerals can only be processed to the best of their ability by our bodies if we decrease our intake of processed foods high in sugar, salt and fat. The World Health Organisation has predicted that by 2020, depression will be the second leading course of disability globally.

Once again, we reiterate, that not all emotional and psychological challenges can be solved purely through food, but with mounting evidence, it is a step in the right direction, and one that you are almost impossibly fail to benefit from.

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