‘Good food is a good mood.’
Eating good food can help you feel better, not only physically but also mentally. This has been proved recently in a randomised controlled trial conducted by a team of Australian researchers. The assignment further suggested that the Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and fish, can heal anxiety disorders and symptoms of depression.
But, can the Mediterranean diet really boost someone’s mental health? Is it truly capable of reducing one’s anxiety disorders or symptoms of depression? You may have all these questions popping up in your mind right now. Thus, it is essential to know what Science has to say about the link between the Mediterranean diet and anxiety disorders.
Mediterranean Diet and Mental Health: Do They Really Have A Connection?
Several participants aged between 17 and 35 years old were selected for the randomized controlled trial in Australia. All of them scored high for stress, anxiety and depression. They were divided into two groups. One group had to follow the Mediterranean diet for three weeks. They had to avoid saturated fats, processed foods and refined sugars. The other group had to follow their normal diet.
After three weeks, the group that had to follow the Mediterranean diet noticed a decrease in their depression scores from moderate range to normal range. The students even said that they felt less stressed and anxious after the diet.
What did the researchers say?
One of the researchers in the randomized controlled trial wrote: “These results are the first to show that young adults with elevated depression symptoms can engage in and adhere to a diet intervention and that this can reduce symptoms of depression.”
What about the other experts in this field?
According to Lisa Richards, an author and a nutritionist of The Candida Diet, the Mediterranean foods integrate healthy fats in the body, thereby getting rid of the processed foods. She also added that the Mediterranean diet releases anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. These reduce inflammation and its side effects in a body.
Owing to all the studies, researches and facts, it shows that the Mediterranean diet has a great role to play in reducing anxiety, stress and symptoms of depression. Now that you know the importance of Mediterranean dishes, let’s find out the right diet for a good mood.
5 Ways You Can Use The Mediterranean Diet To Uplift Your Mood
Mediterranean food is way more than just pasta, pizza or lamb chops. The traditional diet includes a wide slew of fruits, vegetables, seafood, olive oil, beans, nuts, olive oil, etc. The switch from pasta and pepperoni to avocados and fish is not easy. But, you need to try and focus on the nutrients-enriched diet to lead a healthier and happy life. Here’s how you can use the Mediterranean dishes to refresh your mental health.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables
Research suggests that the Mediterranean diet primarily consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. It has been confirmed by organisations such as the American Heart Association, the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic.
Try out a simple plate of sliced tomatoes dipped in olive oil and sprinkled with feta cheese. That is enough to make a delicious breakfast, isn’t it? If you are planning to eat pizza, make sure the thin crust consists of mushrooms and peppers instead of sausage and pepperoni. You can also have salads, soups and crudite platters prepared out of the vegetables.
- Have seafood two times a week
The authentic Mediterranean diet involves a wide range of seafood, particularly fishes. The most popular ones are tuna, herring, salmon, sable fish (black cod) and sardine. You can prepare your favourite seafood dish for lunch or dinner.
Seafood generates a considerable amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These are anti-inflammatory. Thus, it will not only improve your heart’s condition but also lowers blood pressure. It keeps you calm and helps you reduce anxiety disorders easily. You can also try out shellfish such as oysters, mussels and clams. These can also help your brain, as well as heart, develop.
- Do not skip breakfast.
Do not skip breakfast
You can use fruits, whole grains and other fibre-rich foods to start your day with. You can also choose healthy fats such as fish, nuts and seeds for breakfast. Try to combine all these elements to kick start your day confidently.
Many people even consider having avocados and eggs for breakfast. If you want to make something creative, it is better to go for overnight oats along with vegan grilled cheese. My favourite breakfast in the Mediterranean diet includes Greek yoghurt along with flax seeds and berries. Whip up toast with banana slices and peanut butter since that takes only a few seconds for the preparation to complete.
- Prepare a vegetarian meal at least one night a week.
Prepare a vegetarian meal at least one night a week
Are you one of those who can’t imagine living a single day without bacon or meat? In that case, you need to opt for ‘Meatless Monday’ trends to prepare a vegetarian meal for dinner once a week. Build meals based on freshly picked beans, whole grains and vegetables.
Sauté chickpeas and pour some Greek yoghurt to make a lip-smacking dinner for yourself or your loved ones. You can even prepare veggie-heavy soup and use all the vegetables you have in your refrigerator. Grain salad can also make a wonderful option for Mediterranean dinner. However, add sliced avocado or chickpeas and white beans on the top to enhance the flavour to a great extent.
- Enjoy fresh fruits for desserts.
enjoy fresh fruits for desserts
You can do wonders with the Mediterranean dishes for your desserts. You can mix and combine nuts, herbs and spices and whole grains with your favourite fruits. In fact, olive oil is apt for nectarines, dates, strawberries, pomegranates, etc.
You can use crème Fraiche or yoghurt to make a simple fruit tart. Stuff the goat cheese or ricotta with dates or figs and top them with nuts. Grill the pineapple with fresh mint or strawberries and that can make you feel better in no time. Some of you may find it hard initially to come up with the right desserts. However, don’t lose hope. It will be easier once you get a hold of it.
Mental health is not just about having therapies or sessions with your psychiatrist. It is also about having the right food at the right time. The Mediterranean diet is perfect for boosting your mental health. All you have to do is implement the tips mentioned above and see the results for yourself. But, don’t forget that this diet is just a small part of the huge mental wellness program. You must consult with your psychiatrists as and when required. Good Luck.
Suhana is a passionate blogger and digital marketing enthusiast. Suhana Williams is one of the most talented assignment experts who also provide assignment help through Assignmenthelp.us. She enjoys the ever-evolving world of digital marketing and loves to share her opinion on every possible update with her audience. When not creating magic with her words, you can find her sky-diving or trekking in the most bizarre locations.