A recent article posted in our HealthNotes article repository stated that fast food, candy, greasy take-out, and other “junk food” could be working against your body’s ability to cope with stress and mood changes. In fact, a Spanish study showed the following:
Over the course of six years, researchers noted how many people developed depression. Here’s what they found:
- People who ate the most fast food were 36% more likely to develop depression than those who ate the least.
- Eating more processed pastries increased the risk of depression by 38%.
This information joins a growing body of evidence tying inflammation in the body to depression risk. Processed foods may also increase cardiovascular disease risk and markers of inflammation in the body. The authors suggested that inflammation might be partially responsible for the increase in depression risk seen in the study.
May is National Mental Health Month, and, in the spirit of this month, we thought we’d take this opportunity to advance just a couple of things you can do to boost your mood and maintain a happy outlook on life and a clear head.
7 Things To Do To Boost Your Mood
- Get Exercise: not only does regular exercise help to curb cravings for the “bad stuff” found in junk food, but it elevates your endorphins and gives you a kind of natural “high” that just makes you feel great! You’ll also look great too.
- Get Enough Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Fats CAN be good for you–if it’s the right kind. Stay away from trans fats and other non-healthy lipids. Fish oil, flaxseed, sea buckthorn, and black currant are all great sources of essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
- Get Some Fiber: There’s nothing that can make a person crankier than a body that is “gunked up” with waste. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies is important, but you may find more energy and less doldrums with a clean colon. Whole grains and high-fiber supplements can help you to feel your best.
- Get Vitamin D: known as “the sunshine vitamin” as your body will create Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is depression oftentimes occurring during the winter months with shorter exposure to the sun. However, with so many jobs being indoors or people being home bound for one reason or another, you may not be getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements may just be one of your best investments to being happy and healthy.
- Get B Vitamins: B Vitamins including B-12 and B-6 are essential in your body’s metabolic functions. Most Americans don’t get enough of these vital nutrients, and, therefore, they feel zapped and lethargic. If you want more pep and energy, pop some Vitamin B Complex supplements for energy support.
- Get Plenty of Rest: So many people today are simply not getting enough sleep or enough good-quality sleep. Exercise, a good diet, and effective stress relief can lead to a better night’s rest. You can also try some natural sleep remedies to help the Sandman find his way to you.
- Get a Doctor’s Appointment: Make sure you visit your health care professional regularly (at least 2 times per year) to ensure that you are keeping your mind and body in prime condition. Also, before you start any kind of dietary change or exercise program, be sure to discuss your plans with your doctor or physician.
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