A new Spanish study involving more than 15,000 people has found a Mediterranean diet loaded with fruit, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts and olive oil, but with low levels of processed meats, could help ward of depression.
Nutritionist Linda Foster says: “There’s certainly more and more research indicating that diet can influence brain chemistry, with this latest study adding more weight to the idea we can eat ourselves happier."
“We don’t have the whole picture yet but there are clear indications that, along with regular exercise, sticking to the right diet could help ward off the blues.”
The science behind food’s effect on happiness is based on evidence that dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain chemistry – altering the hormones responsible for controlling our mood.
As well as looking at key mood-lifting foods, there has also been interesting research to suggest that trying to lose weight on a diet that restricts calories too severely can have a detrimental effect on mood.
Linda says: “Many of the pathways in the brain that deal with mood and hunger are linked.
“So it’s no surprise that feeling hungry goes hand-in-hand with feeling grumpy.”
Try to eat two or more of these natural happiness enhancers every day…