Guest blog post by Victoria Malouf
Food and mood are closely linked.
Some days you might feel absolutely amazing and have all the energy in the world, and then on others you can barely muster the energy to get out of bed. Have you ever noticed the connection with what you ate the day before?
The chances are high fatty, fried processed foods will leave you feeling a bit flat and drained a few hours later, or leave you crying at the Kleenex ad on TV. Lots of emerging evidence has shown that a diet high in fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, lean proteins and healthy fats has been shown in studies, time and time again, to boost mood and even help fight the early signs of depression.
Four top tips to help improve your mood and energy levels
- Reduce your sugar intake and cut out processed food – Regular consumption of sugar and processed foods in the form of cakes, chips, lollies, pastries etc. has been shown to be not only detrimental to blood sugar levels, but also a factor in blood pressure issues and heart disease. And those continual high and low mood swings put you at higher risk for depression both in the short and the long term.
- Eat lots of wholefoods – A diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes and lean proteins is going to be the key to reducing sugar intake, enhancing your mood, and giving your energy a big boost.
- Have breakfast daily – Studies have shown that fuelling your body with the right nutrients first thing in the morning helps to boost your energy levels and keep them stable throughout the day. Eating at regular intervals helps to make sure that your blood sugar and therefore energy reserves don’t drop too low and cause you to crash completely.
- Exercise daily – It’s not only the right food that improves your mood. Getting out into the sunshine for your daily dose of exercise will help your bones by boosting your vitamin D levels – and it will also help improve your mood. Vitamin D has been linked to enhanced mood, and the endorphins from exercise are also going to give you a big energy hit.
About the author
Victoria Malouf is an Accredited Clinical Nutritionist and fully certified Personal Trainer specialising in nutrition and exercise to support health, fitness and weight loss. She has degrees in Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) and Commerce, and is a Member of the Australian Natural Therapies Association, Fitness Australia and the Australian Fitness Network. On 29 August and 19 September 2018, in partnership with The Junction Neighbourhood Centre, she will be presenting free talks on nutrition in Bondi Junction. Phone (02) 9349 8200 for details.
Opportunities to exercise
The Junction Neighbourhood Centre offers opportunities to exercise in a group. This will enable you to make new social connections, another significant factor in improving mood.
Try Tai Chi, our Tuesday Walking Group or Garden Walk and Talk activity for the chance to exercise in a group. See our Monthly Calendar for more details. We also offer exercise classes for older people in the City of Sydney local government area. Classes run in Waterloo, Redfern and Glebe, and you can access the class closest to where you live. Phone (02) 8750 1400 for details.