Let me be perfectly frank with you, I’m no spring chicken anymore.
I believe that just using the term ‘spring chicken’ pretty well dates me back to sometime in the last century. Ouch! However, when I was in my 20’s I can honestly say that I was more tired, fatigued, and sore than I am now. Sometime in my late 20’s I visited the Grand Canyon. I can remember everyone getting out of the car and trooping down for the guided tour. Me? Well I was too tired so I merely peered over the edge for a quick look then jumped back in the car for a rest from the exertion.
Not only was lethargy a part of my everyday life, but I felt a depression hanging over me most of the time. When one considers that depression is one of the first symptoms of many nutritional deficiencies, I can understand exactly what was happening with my body. Thankfully, at some stage a few years back, I came to discover just what a strong relationship there is between diet and our mental and physical health. It is a correlation that I fervently wish was better appreciated.
Let’s discuss a little further how food can assist in lifting your mood and brighten your outlook, whilst giving you an energy you never imagined possible.
My first port of call is always Mr Vitamins Comvita products, because I need to be able to trust that my health supplies are genuine. Things like their Olive Leaf Extract, which is a known cold and flu symptom reliever are staples in my home. As a side note, I love their natural toothpaste, which doesn’t contain sodium laureth sulphate or fluoride which is so important to me, not only for my sake, but especially for my children and their children’s health. Fluoride may be almost impossible to escape from, having been added to the very water we drink, but at least I can try to avoid ingesting it in other ways.
List of mood enhancing foods
A lot of people still haven’t made the connection between their mood and their dietary intake. We are blessed with a huge variety of foods and herbs which can specifically enhance your mood and lift your spirits. Some of them will also ensure you get a quality nights sleep, which is often a huge factor in those with mild depression. Firstly, let’s look at a few things which have proven beneficial in lifting your mood:
- Olive Leaf Extract (see above)
- Wild Salmon – contains essential fatty acids, vital in mood regulation
- St John’s Wort – a natural antidepressant
- Nuts and Legumes – will help to regulate the mood enhancing benefits of serotonin
- Dark Chocolate – everyone’s favorite mood lifter!
- Good fats – improve mood and sleep quality
- Natural, organic, unprocessed foods
*Always consult a doctor before taking new supplements.
It’s also about what you don’t eat
It is an often overlooked fact that what you don’t ingest can be vitally important to your physical and mental health. For example, heavy alcohol consumption can cause an all encompassing depression and initiate a vicious ‘high / low’ cycle. Other foods which have been proven detrimental are:
- Refined sugar
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – can leave you feeling down and fatigued
- Refined white bread and processed carbohydrates
- Alcohol (see above)
A Walk in the Sun
Taking a stroll outside in the sunshine can have a two-pronged effect on your outlook. Exercise in itself has been proven to have a positive effect mentally and after as little as 5 minutes you start feeling the benefits. Low levels of serotonin can affect one’s emotional wellbeing and natural sunlight has the proven effect of raising these levels. A walk can also just be a relaxing way to discharge some energy and get some quiet meditation time in.
Whilst the above measures are all designed to guide you to a brighter outlook, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please ask someone for help or contact an organization like Beyond Blue. The world is full of wonderful experiences and getting the balance between diet, exercise, work and play right, is crucial in enabling you to enjoy all it has to offer.
What make you feel happier and healthier? Let us know in the comments below!
*This article was contributed.