Brighten Your Mood with Food
By: Katie Miller, LPC, NCi
Spring is symbolic of renewal, growth, new beginnings…and me grumpily staring into my closet because I am so done with the winter sweaters that held so much appeal in the fall. Along with my winter sweater, hopefully soon, gone are my cravings for warm, comforting soups and delicious baked goods. Now all I crave is a mountain of vegetables and freshly picked strawberries.
This desire to change what’s on our plate goes back as far as our hunter-gatherer ancestors. As their diet changed with the seasons, they were providing their bodies with different nutrients. Different nutrients support different aspects of health, including our mental health. Below are some examples:
Green leafy vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and spinach contain magnesium which decreases stress. Purple colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries, red cabbage, purple potatoes, and eggplant support cognitive function and decreases mental decline as we age. Eating foods containing B vitamins such as eggs, nuts, seeds, and dairy can relieve symptoms of depression. Eating Omega-3 fats in the form of avocados, olives, nuts, and salmon can decrease symptoms of anxiety.
We all respond differently to the foods we eat and you have the power to support your mental health by eating a variety of fresh, seasonal foods.
If you're curious about how nutrition might help you better mange stress, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, or support another mental health challenge you face Katie Miller offers individualized nutrition support in developing healthy dietary goals and patterns, as well as meal plans and recipes. Katie Miller is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nutritional Consultant. For more information and to schedule your nutrition consultation appointment, call Limitless Life Counseling at 208-807-2877.