Autumn is so different. At first, it inspires us with its golden crimson, rustling, and fragrance, and then it depresses us with foggy, rainy, cold days. There is less and less sunshine, the day is shorter, and the mood deteriorates in the gray-gray routine. We can even talk about an exacerbation of depression or the onset of the autumn blues.
However, such a decline can be minimized, if not overcome, by revising the diet. So what is the internal chemistry of our mood and which food components and products work as antidepressants?
The generator of emotions in the brain is a complex of structures that works through the exchange of neurotransmitters – small compounds that transmit a signal from one cell to another. We owe our feelings of pleasure to dopamine and norepinephrine, derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine, which is produced both by our body and in food (beef, poultry, dairy products). Serotonin, which is formed from the amino acid tryptophan, which our body cannot produce on its own but receives from food, plays a leading role in creating a good mood.
Therefore, tryptophan-rich foods should always be on the table. These are turkey, chicken, and egg dishes.
We should also eat nuts, bananas, hard cheese, milk, soy, and dark chocolate. The formation and action of serotonin are promoted by omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, which are most abundant in marine fish (salmon, herring, tuna), as well as flax seeds.
It has been shown that tryptophan is better absorbed with complex carbohydrates, so it is good to enrich the diet with whole-grain cereals, bread, and oatmeal. Studies show that turmeric and saffron slow down the reuptake of serotonin by brain cells, and thus prolong its effect. B vitamins (especially B6 and folic acid) and magnesium also act as natural antidepressants and stimulants of serotonin production. We should consume more autumnal foods rich in these compounds – pumpkin, apples, beans, as well as spinach, broccoli, and onions. Chromium, which is abundant in beef, honey, and potatoes, and foods with a low glycemic index will help prevent mood swings, which are often associated with sharp fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
As you can see, the range of foods that can keep you in a good mood in the fall weather is quite wide.
You can freely create a diet focused on the predominance of protein, as well as a menu high in complex carbohydrates and fish. Have a delicious and positive fall!