Tag Archives: Major depressive disorder

Fitness Article : The Ultimate Diet (Energy and Happiness) Part I

Its very intuitive, that you are what you eat. And recently studies have proven that foods affect our mood as well. The study which was done by in 1983 which involved 184 adults that either consumed a protein-rich or carbohydrate-rich meal. After two hours, their mood and performance were tested.

The effects of the meal differed across gender and age. For example, females reported greater sleepiness after a carbohydrate meal whereas males reported greater calmness. In addition, older participants (40 years or older) showed a decline in tests of sustained selective attention after a carbohydrate-rich lunch.

Are you getting enough energy or are you going to crash and burn ?

Food affects our energy levels

Food mainly affects our mood and energy levels as well. Our sleep cycle (circadian rhythms) influence our energy levels and memory. Most mammals are diurnal, however we show clear preferences for energy levels during certain times of the day according to preference, this is affected by food choice. “Early birds” feel most productive the first part of the day and their food choices become particularly important during lunch and throughout the afternoon. “Night Owls” feel most energetic later in the day and should pay attention to their breakfast choices as they can increase or decrease energy levels and influence memory.

An important factor to consider is also the glycemic index as well, which is how quickly the food gets transferred to energy. This is on a scale of 1-100, at while the higher the scale the faster it gets absorbed by the body. Pure glucose has a glycemic index of 100 which means it immediately can be used as a source of energy for the body. Eat too much of foods with high glycemic index and experts at the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance , or DBSA, note rapid changes in blood sugar often cause elevations in mood and energy levels. These elevations tend to be in short bursts of of time, and are followed by a crash which produces lower mood and loss of energy. And all mothers can attest to that after their kid goes crazy then cranky after a candy bar.

Food Affects our Moods

There are many foods that affect moods of such a few are interesting

Chocolate is like Cannabis

Chocolates contains a number of potentially psychoactive chemicals which stimulate the brain in the same way as certain drugs (like cannabis) does.  Nevertheless, these substances are present in chocolate in very low concentrations. However, chocolate can serve as a powerful mood enhancer amd as an ultimate comfort food, which might explain why it is the food of choice for people when they are unhappy. Bas thing is that it causes a insulin crash that leaves you feeling fatter and worse.

Caffeine the most socially acceptable “drug” or stimulant. Coffee is regarded as a  stimulant (in the same class of amphetamines). They enhance alertness, vigilance, and reaction time but also increases anxiety and nervousness. Caffeine helps in promoting alertness, memory and is a strong antioxidant but has a host of effects including anxiety, loss of done density and rapid heart rate increases. (Top 15 effects of Coffee)

Omega 3 Fatty Acids influences mood, behaviour and personality. According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, low levels of  omega-3 fatty acids are linked to depression, pessimism and impulsivity. They can also play a role in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, substance abuse and attention deficit disorder.

Iron and Folic Acid – Iron deficiency as a result of anaemia can result in depressed mood, lethargy and problems with attention and decreased ability to exercise. A low iron status is most common among menstruating women , children, vegetarians, and people who follow a diet.