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Healthy Food May Boost Mood

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

By
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The food-mood connection isn't all in your head. In fact, there's even a name for it -- nutritional psychiatry.

Scientists in the field are actively looking for connections between diet quality and mental disorders to help treat or even prevent these illnesses.

One research review found that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish may reduce depression risk, with special emphasis on getting the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish. Aim for a 3-ounce serving of halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, oysters, sardines, trout or fresh tuna a few times a week.

More Omega-3 Sources

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Other studies have zeroed in on nutrition shortfalls and found a link between depression and deficiencies in vitamin D and the B vitamin folic acid as well as omega-3s.

Folic Acid Sources

  • Oranges and grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens

If you don't get some daily sun exposure, it can be hard for your body to make the vitamin D it needs. You can get some D in wild salmon, sardines, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified milk. Talk to your doctor about a blood test to measure your level and determine if you also need a supplement.

How to put all these findings together? Following the classic Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk not only of depression and cognitive impairment, but of strokes, too.

Of course, there are limits to how far a good diet can go to prevent or treat mental illnesses, which are very complex conditions. But eating key foods can help give you a welcome mood boost.

More information

The Food Revolution Network has more on these and other nutrients to boost mood and be healthier.

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