If you’re feeling tired and lazy this week after the clock change, you’re not alone. Research has shown that pushing clocks forward even an hour can wreak havoc on your health. In fact, according to Healthline, after daylight saving time, there is a spike in heart attacks, suicides, car accidents, and work-related injuries.
Experts say it could take your body days to catch up with this artificial time change. But you can help the process by eating certain foods that can improve your mood and well-being. Over the years, several studies have shown that opting for a healthier diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help improve symptoms of depression. A 2022 study found that switching to a Mediterranean diet helped men aged 18 to 25 cope with their depressive symptoms, according to Medical News Today.
By improving the gut microbiome, we can positively influence communication between the gut and the brain, says Najaf Amin, Senior Associate Researcher at the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford in the UK. The abundance of certain bacteria in the gut appears to be linked to an increase in symptoms of depression, according to a study by Amin and his colleagues last year. She says a balanced and varied diet can help maintain bacterial balance in the gut.
Additionally, here are some specific suggestions that can boost your mood and energy levels:
• Take a magnesium supplement. This powerful mineral can help fight oxidative stress, which may play a role in depression, Amin says.
• Add variety to your diet. “When you go to the supermarket instead of buying one type of beans, buy six types,” says Rachel Kelly, author of The Happiness Diet.
• Consume more probiotics. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir and prebiotic foods like leafy greens can help improve bacterial diversity in the gut. During fermentation, probiotics are created. These live microorganisms promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and can increase serotonin levels. Since 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in your gut, a healthy gut can improve your mood.
• Eat more omega-3 foods. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, and nuts can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and can help relieve symptoms of depression.
• Taste dark chocolate. Experts say chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds, including caffeine, theobromine and N-acylethanolamine – a cannabinoid-like substance that has been linked to improved mood.
• go bananas. Eating bananas, which are rich in vitamin B6, can make you frown. This important vitamin helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. When combined with fiber (bananas and bran cereal or oats), the sugar is slowly released into the bloodstream, allowing for more stable sugar levels and better mood control. Too low blood sugar can lead to irritability and mood swings.
• be happy. Eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression. A diet rich in antioxidants can help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders. The berries are particularly high in anthocyanins, the pigment that gives some berries their purple and blue hues. One study linked a diet high in anthocyanins to a 39% reduced risk of symptoms of depression. If you can’t find fresh berries, buy frozen fruits — they’re frozen at their peak of ripeness to retain maximum nutrients.