If you’ve been struggling with low mood, mood swings, or other emotional disturbances, questions about your diet could be furthest from your mind. You’re more likely to get stuck thinking about your personal life, your personal history, or all of the things that worry or upset you.
Nutrition is very much worth considering, however, because your diet and nutrition actually make a big difference when it comes to your mood, your energy levels, and your mental health. Getting too little of essential nutrients leaves your body and mind depleted, and can lead to mood imbalances.
At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, Dr. Nichelle Renk, Dr. Mary Beth Calor, and Jenny Davis, PA-C focus on restoring your full nutritional health through nutritional supplementation, nutritional counseling, and other strategies for mind/body wellness.
Dr. Renk, Dr. Calor, and Jenny treat patients from her Anchorage, Alaska, location. She understands the unique challenges and stresses involved with improving your nutrition, and she’s here to help!
Foods that harm your mood and increase pain
First, let’s look at how nutritional imbalances and deficiencies can harm your emotional and mental health and wellness.
For one thing, if your diet is based on whole, unrefined foods, you’re less likely to end up dealing with mood swings related to blood sugar spikes and crashes. Keeping your blood sugar stable can do a lot to address mood issues, including anxiety.
There are three food groups that can negatively affect your mood and pain and they are: sugar, gluten, and dairy. All three are pro-inflammatory. Set a goal of decreasing sugar, gluten, and cow dairy or abstaining, and you can feel much less inflamed and achieve a more stable mood.
But if your diet doesn’t contain enough nutrients, you could end up feeling fatigued and drained too much of the time.
Foods based on refined flour, like bread and baked goods, and foods and beverages with lots of added sugars, feel like they fill you up. In reality, your body might not be getting what it needs to keep you in good physical and mental health.
Rebalancing your mind and body
Dr. Renk, Dr. Calor, and Jenny can advise you on the changes to your diet and nutrition that help you to stabilize your mood, improve your energy levels, and give both your body and brain the fuel they need to function well.
Balanced “traditional” diets like the Mediterranean diet often benefit your mood. You can increase the levels of the chemical serotonin in your brain by taking in more complex carbohydrates from whole foods, such as rolled oats, quinoa, beans, or sweet potatoes, helping you feel better right away.
Getting enough protein also matters! Protein supports your brain’s production of dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals that balance your mood and improve your concentration. Fish, lean meat, tofu, beans, and eggs are all good sources of healthy protein.
As well, your body and brain need the vitamins and minerals you can get in fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables like leafy greens.
Supplementing your nutrition
Key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for mood regulation include folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, and C. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids can also make a difference in your mood.
Getting the full amount of nutrients you need just from your food can pose a challenge, especially in Alaska, where produce can get pretty expensive. That’s where nutritional supplementation comes into the picture.
Talk to Dr. Renk about dietary supplements that could benefit your mood regulation and mental health. With the right combination of supplements, you can get rid of vitamin deficiencies and improve your whole-body health and wellness. As a patient at Alpenglow, you are eligible for 15% off MSRP for all supplements.
Schedule your initial consultation appointment with Dr. Renk at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness by booking online or over the phone today.