We Need More Joy

Around 50% of Canadians report feeling stressed and on-edge, and one third of patients visiting physicians have depressive symptoms, anxiety, and/or alcohol problems. But the good news is that a more positive mental outlook can be cultivated naturally, from the inside, out.

Research continues to show a two-way street between mood and food. Nutrition matters.
- Dr. Alan Logan, Naturopathic Doctor

Cultivate a More Positive Mental Outlook

Nourish your gut

The gut-brain connection is an extremely important link to your overall health and wellbeing. Our gut creates about 70% of our body’s serotonin, which is hindered when food sensitivities are present. Fermented foods have been shown to not only be nourishing to the gut and gut microflora, but can also provide benefits to mood and cognitive function (1).

Eat the rainbow

Consuming a wide variety of colourful whole foods that are alkalizing, antioxidant rich, and anti-inflammatory are important for healing your gut and boosting your immune system – and they can even support your brain! One study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that eating a diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables provided mood benefits equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment (2).

Omega-3 fatty acids

Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) is a fatty acid that’s a precursor nutrient needed to produce an anti-inflammatory signaling molecule known a prostaglandin-3 (PGE-3). More and more we are learning inflammation’s role in mental health issues like depression, and taking 1,000mg of an EPA concentrate fish oil per day has been clinically shown to be effective in helping with symptoms of mild to moderate depression.

Exercise

Physical activity helps to release endorphins, and is considered one of nature’s most potent natural antidepressants. Aim to get some form of physical activity every day whether it is a full on sweat session or just simply going for a walk or taking the stairs. Bonus points for taking your workout outside and getting a dose of natural light with your fitness.

References:

1 http://www.genuinehealth.com/fermented-foods-beneficial-effects-brain-cognitive-function/#.Wm90hq6nGUk

2 Oswald, Andrew et al. Evolution of Well-Being and Happiness After Increases in Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables. American Journal of Public Health. Accessed at: http://www.andrewoswald.com/docs/ajphactualJuly2016fruitandvegOswaldFinalProofs.pdf