Bad mood or lack of enthusiasm?


A lack of specific nutrients and vitamins can also compromise cognitive development and mental health – Photo: Wirestock/Freepik


With a fast-paced lifestyle, it is common for symptoms resulting from stress to appear, such as irritation, which can profoundly impair quality of life. Knowing that body and mind are connected, emotions play a decisive role in a fulfilling life. In turn, when deregulated, the tendency is for irritability, sadness, discouragement or even physical signs such as muscle pain to appear.

There are a series of factors that can contribute to a good or bad mood, including the external environment, genetic predisposition, lifestyle and diet, one of the most important pillars for a balanced life.

Jasmine’s nutritionist and consultant, Adriana Zanardo, highlights that the human body needs many nutrients to function properly, both in terms of variety and quantity. “Dietary patterns influence the activity of the intestine and central nervous system through dietary compounds, such as vitamins, minerals, good fats and bioactive compounds. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the ingredients consumed,” she explains.

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Scientific studies show that a dietary pattern with a greater predominance of saturated fat and sugar, and low amounts of fiber can negatively influence the so-called “intestinal microbiota”, which is related to the brain, influencing mood. The nutritionist also explains that “there is an axis called ‘gut-brain’, where, according to the quantity and quality of the diet, different types of substances are produced and released by the microbiota that communicate with the brain, influencing cognitive capacity and in humor.”

Therefore, we can consider that the proper functioning of the brain, and, consequently, mood regulation, partially depends on daily nutrition. “It is worth highlighting that excess calories, especially empty ones (i.e., present in ultra-processed products that do not offer nutrients), can harm cognitive capacity and the functioning of neurons. Likewise, calorie intake well below the recommended level can also be negative, increasing the risk of deficiency of nutrients relevant to health”, he advises.

Choice of menu

A complete and nutrient-rich menu features a predominance of foods of plant origin, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains such as oats and quinoa, legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, and oilseeds such as sesame and sunflower seeds and pumpkin seed.

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Flaxseed, chia and oilseeds, such as cashew nuts and Brazil nuts, are foods enriched with omega-3. This nutrient has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, contributing to the processes of learning, memory, mood and a sense of well-being. Scientific studies also highlight that daily consumption of these items can contribute to mental health.

It is extremely important to know more about the benefits of healthy eating as a method of preventative care for depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other conditions.

But be careful: a lack of specific nutrients and vitamins can also compromise cognitive development and mental health, which can lead to depression, for example. When the body lacks an essential nutrient, such as folate, popularly known as vitamin B9, it can have a negative impact on the individual’s ability to learn and remember. In turn, this same component, together with other vitamins, such as B6 and B12, has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, positively impacting brain function.

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Vitamins B6 and B9 are found in dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, whole grains (oats, quinoa), oilseeds (nuts and seeds) and foods of animal origin (eggs, fish, etc.). Vitamin E is present mainly in oilseeds (nuts and seeds).

5 tips for living with more balance and happiness

Sleep for at least 7 hours straight (thinking about quantity and quality of sleep);

Practice physical activity at least 3 times a week;

Hydrate yourself well (calculate 35ml of water for each kilo to reach the daily amount of water recommended for healthy adults);

Invest in good personal and social relationships without forgetting to do activities that give you pleasure, such as listening to music, reading a book, watching a new series, among others;

Keep in touch with nature, even if for a few minutes. Activities such as sunbathing and walking on the grass are satisfying and good for your health.

Source: Jasmine Alimentos, a reference company in healthy eating

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The article is in Portuguese

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