Food for Mood
Written by Justyna Prawdziwa from Justyna Nutrition Coach
For most women, pregnancy is the time when they start to think about nutrition and supplements. Sometimes they change their previous diet habits for better and think about macro and micronutrients and how important they are for healthy baby growth. Sometimes they eat twice as much as have great appetite, they drink a lot of water, eat 5 portions of vegetables a day and try green smoothies every morning… Sometimes…
But sometimes something goes wrong. Some mums struggle with preparing the food for themselves, with sleep, with work and stress. Sometimes they are alone with pregnancy and don’t have anyone to support or do the groceries. And sometimes it turns into more serious state that can last throughout pregnancy and after.
Not only is nutritious food needed for our physical health, scientists have proven that what we eat, affects chemicals in our brain, called neurotransmitters, which in turn affects our mood. So is it that you eat poorly because you are depressed or you are depressed because you eat poorly?
Poor nutrition is extremely common in people who are depressed. Inappropriate food directly results in energy levels and reserves. It lowers self esteem, rises feelings of fatigue, impatience, poor concentration and often can cause lack of sleep.
Researchers at the University of Colorado recently identified a potential link between micronutrient deficiencies and the development of postpartum depression. They say it may be possible in some cases to prevent depression by making healthy choices, which in turn will aid the regulation of your hormones.
By eating a diet rich in fatty fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, cows or almond milk, dairy products, nuts and beans, you are going to promote brain and emotional health and may be able to avoid symptoms of postpartum depression or aid your recovery. Also that kind of diet is optimum way to get different vitamins and minerals.
Eating smaller meals during the day, help prevent insulin levels to drop immediately. A diet full of fibre helps prevent constipation and maintains energy levels, it can also prevent weight gain.
Try to avoid sweets and sugary snacks during the day as that kind of food cause rapid swings in your blood sugar levels and hormones which can a variety of adverse emotions. Instead try dried fruit full of vitamin B and zinc.
First step in to change is the hardest, but it takes about 72 hours to change your eating habits, so why not start today?
Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Winter squash
- 2 Parsnips, chopped
- Carrot, chopped
- Garlic, chopped
- Onion, chopped
- Bay leaf
- Nutmeg, salt, pepper (to taste)
- Curry powder (to taste)
- Turmeric and ginger roots grated (to taste)
- Olive oil or rapeseed oil
- Coconut milk (not necessary)
Heat some oil on the pan and cook garlic and onion with some salt.
Take another pan and bring some water to boil and throw in leaf and carrot.
Let it cook under the cover until soft.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric, keep tasting until you get the level of spice that best suits you and your family.
Add squash and bring to boil.
Add curry powder to suit your taste, then boil until soft add nutmeg to taste at the end.
If too thick add some water or milk. Blend everything together until creamy and smooth.
Pumpkins and carrots are rich in beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Curry powder and turmeric are though to reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, depression, ease pain and inflammation, boost bone health, protect the immune system from bacterial infections and increase the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body.
Parsnips contain high levels of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as high levels of fibre and some protein.
So all in all, this is a great winter warmer for the whole family as well as your mind.