• PALM Centre

Food for mood

In our previous topic, we shared about caregivers' stress. Stress is inevitable. Eutress, or short term good stress can be beneficial for you, but distress, or chronic stress can result in deteriorating health in the long run. Did you know that there are some foods that can help you feel a little bit more relaxed and some that will make you feel worse? Here, we talk about some of these foods:

  1. Omega 3 fatty acids (with EPA and DHA)

Some studies have shown that having 1g of EPA (with DHA) helps in mood regulation. The rationale is that omega-3s can easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression.

Foods containing omega 3

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Mackerel

  • Herring

  • Sardines

  • anchovies

  1. Serotonin & Tryptophan

Serotonin plays an important role in mood regulation (stress and anxiety). It serves as a neurotransmitter in our brain. It also promotes patience and the ability to cope. The chemical is naturally produced by the body and can be increased by consuming foods that contain Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that cannot be produced by the body and it serves as a precursor for Serotonin.

Foods containing Tryptophan

  • Whole milk

  • Turkey and chicken

  • Oats

  • Cheese

  • Nuts and seeds

  1. Curcumin

Curcumin is a polyphenol, which can reverse harmful brain changes caused by chronic stress. It also stimulates the formation of new brain cells and their connections. Because it is also an antioxidant, curcumin can also prevent oxidative stress in the brain, which is one of the reasons leading to oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress can lead to low-grade inflammation—and eventually to cellular dysfunction and death.

Foods containing Curcumin

  • Turmeric

Include these foods into your diet and make it a habit. Remember, there are also foods that are not beneficial when it comes to regulating mood. These are the processed foods and refined carbohydrates. Stay away from them during these times.

  1. Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, can induce the brain to increase serotonin production and stabilize blood pressure as a way to reduce stress. Choose these instead of simple carbohydrates, which causes inflammation in the body.

Foods containing complex carbohydrates

  • Whole grains

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Legumes

  • Tubers like sweet potatoes

Consume these 4 categories of food to aid your mood and stress, at the same time, staying away from processed or refined foods is highly recommended as evidence increasingly shows that diets high in processed foods can increase anxiety.

Consult a dietitian/nutritionist to get the most reliable and up to date information on mood regulation.

In our next post, we will discuss about osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis, so stay tuned!

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