How to feel better? 10 easy tips

Stress is inherent in our lives. Although in some situations it can mobilize people, in excessive amounts it may lead to serious consequences – not only the risk of bad mood but also increased probability of depression and cardiovascular diseases. However, there are some ways we can deal with it – the basis for most of them is a proper diet and physical activity. Diet & Training by Ann application combines both these elements! Below you will find several practical tips which will surely help improve your mood.

  1. Include oily sea fish in your diet

Research shows that polyunsaturated fatty omega-3 acids in oily sea fish such as a herring, mackerel, salmon or halibut, relieve numerous depression symptoms. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, and apart from better mood you will also surely notice improvement in concentration and memory.

  1. Choose nuts for a snack

Nuts are a good source of magnesium which helps fight excessive psychophysical burden and stress. They contain lots of vitamin E and selenium which thanks to which they have strong antioxidant properties. Everyday consumption of one portion of nuts will positively affect your mood.

  1. Put green vegetables first

Green vegetables, such as: lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are rich in folic acid, lutein and zeaxanthin – compounds that are beneficial for the proper functioning of our brain. People who suffer from mood disorders frequently have folic acid deficiencies. Folic acid is crucial in emotional perception because it takes part in serotonin production – the hormone of happiness.

  1. Have a banana

Another substance that is important in serotonin production is tryptophan – an amino acid found i.a. in bananas. Apart from bananas, eggs and seafood are also good sources of this compound. Eating products rich in tryptophan guarantees good mood.

  1. Choose berries

Berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and bilberries are not only tasty but also healthy. The vitamins and minerals they contain have strong antioxidant properties and help fight oxidative stress and free radicals. According to research, eating fruit rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins C, E and beta carotene may stimulate mental ability.

  1. Check your vitamin D level

Vitamin D level is one of the factors that can affect the risk of developing depression. Therefore, it is important to keep the right concentration of vitamin D in blood serum for your well-being and mental comfort. The recommended level of vitamin D in blood serum should amount to 30-50 ng/ml. Deficiency occurs when vitamin D concentration is lower than 20 ng/ml. In case of diagnosed vitamin D deficiency you should consider supplementing it. Remember that vitamin D is produced in our skin through solar radiation and oily sea fish are a good source of it, too.

  1. Cut out gluten from your diet

It is believed that people with untreated celiac disease can be prone to mental illnesses, including depression, due to a lower level of tryptophan and dysfunction in serotonin production. Following a gluten free diet by people diagnosed with celiac disease can reduce depression symptoms and improve mood.

  1. It’s coffee time

Moderate caffeine consumption may result in improvement of your mood, concentration, alertness and enhanced memorizing ability. Keep in mind though that high doses of caffeine can result in excessive activity, sleeplessness or anxiety. For this reason it is advisable to drink not more than two cups of coffee a day.

  1. Lose weight

Research has shown that overweight people are more prone to mood disorders and developing depression. Weight loss can significantly affect relieving the symptoms of this disease. Losing weight will not only benefit your mood but also reduce the risk of such diseases as: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and neoplastic diseases. Remember that the pace of weight loss recommended by WHO should amount to 0,5 -1kg per week.

  1. Don’t forget about regular physical activity

Apart from the diet, physical activity also puts us in a good mood. Why? Because during physical activity our body produces lots of endorphins (hormones that lead to good mood). That’s why people who are physically active when compared to those who don’t do any sport, are more resilient to stress. How to improve your mood? Try to increase your level of physical activity. Exercise at least 3 times a week.

Bibliography:

Gibson EL. Emotional influence of food choice: Sensory, physiological and psychological pathways. Physiol. Behav. 2006;89(1):53-61.

Martins JG. EPA but not DHA appears to be responsible for the efficacy of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in depression: evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009;28(5):525-542.

Osdoba KE, Mann T, Redden JP, et al. Using food to reduce stress: effects of choosing meal components and preparing a meal. Food Quality and Preference. 2015;39:241-250.

Penckofer S, Kouba J, Byrn M. Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine? Iss Ment Health Nurs. 2010;31(6):385-393.

Pynnönen PA, Isometsä ET, Verkasalo MA, et al. Gluten-free diet may alleviate depressive and behavioural symptoms in adolescents with celiac disease: a prospective follow-up case-series study. BMP Psychiatry. 2005;5:14.

Simon GE, Rohde P, Ludman EJ, et al. Association between change in depression and change in weight among women enrolled in weight loss treatment. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2010;32;583-589.

 

Anna Lewandowska

Athlete and nutrition specialist. Multiple medalist of the national in traditional karate in European and World Championships. Author of workout plans and books on healthy lifestyle that have helped her motivate over a million of people to change their lives for the better.

Founder of Healthy Plan by Ann, Diet & Training by Ann. CEO of Foods by Ann. Co-founder of Baby by Ann.

Wife of footballer Robert Lewandowski, the captain of the Poland national football team and Bayern Munich player. Read more »

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