Home News Foods that Boost Mood and Weight Loss

Foods that Boost Mood and Weight Loss

When people are dieting to lose weight, the predominant image that tends to be portrayed is one of constant hunger and depression, which is a pretty sad way to go about trying to restore your health and reclaim your ideal body size.

But food has a lot more to do with body mass maintenance than we may think.

Food and Mood

leafy green vegetables for weight lossMood has a lot to do with the way our bodies are dealing with the food that we are consuming.

At the very least, our mood may be a window onto how our diets are doing and how effectively they are working, or not.

Depression or low mood is a sign that things are not working as well as they ought to be and that is often linked with the process of restricting our food intake through a weight loss diet.

That's because when we restrict our food and calorie intake without maintaining the correct balance of essential nutrients, our metabolism actually slows down to match and that causes our bodies to store more fats. That is the exact opposite to what we are trying to achieve, meaning the diet we are on is failing.

To boost the effectiveness of a calorie controlled diet, we must maintain our nutrient levels and there are two very important foods that we need to boost our mood to help things along. The first is folate, which is a B vitamin found mainly in green leafy vegetables.

Eat Your Greens

When your granny used to tell you to "eat your greens" she was on to something for sure. Most modern diets exclude green vegetables and the resulting depletion of folate has a negative effect on our mood. Folate is responsible for boosting cell production, and that includes the creation of new cells in the brain.

Research has shown that low levels of folate are linked to lower energy levels, impaired cognitive function but also, interestingly, memory loss. The journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics has published a report on a large proportion of people in the United States who suffer with depression tend to have low folate levels.

The good news is that Folate can help you to lose weight. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed dieters with the highest folate levels lost 8.5 times more weight than dieters with the lowest levels!

Another weight loss boosting, mood enhancing nutrient group are the omega-3 fatty acids. These are found mainly in oily fish, walnuts and flax seeds. Modern diets are sdadly lacking in omega 3, but in their place we have higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids which are not so mood friendly, found in corn.

In fact the modern US diet contains up to 20 times the levels of omega-6 compared to omega-3.

The Need for Omega-3

It is believed by health experts that one of the reasons we tend to eat more these days is because we are seeking out more omega-3. This is because our bodies are demanding them, but we eat the wrong things like carbs or sweet, sugar rich foods to compensate, leading to weight gain, lower mood and even greater levels of hostility.

A separate study has found that the rising levels of omega-6 coupled with lower levels of omega-3 are responsible for the increase in crime levels in many countries in the West.

If you want to improve your mood and lose weight at the same time, make a point of increasing your intake of both folate through leafy green vegetables such as kale, cabbage, spinach and broccoli and omega-3 fatty acids through oily fish such as salmon, fresh tuna (not canned), mackerel etc or eat more walnuts and flax seeds. The difference can be life changing!


Posted on Tue, 28 Sep 2010 in News | 2 Comments

2 thoughts on "Foods that Boost Mood and Weight Loss"

Eric says:

When I'm low, I find I'm more irritable and quick to anger. When my blood sugar is high, I feel kind of brainess and out of it. Subtle signs to pay attention to so I don't get into trouble one way or the other

Amy says:

I get it about the omega-3 part. Since I started taking fish oil caps a month ago, I find my old food cravings have diminished a lot. I did lose some weight but overall I just feel better.