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Check Your Health: Food & Your Mood

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Check Your Health: Food & Your Mood (File photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) There is an emerging field of science called “nutritional psychiatry” which explores how the brain - as one of the largest utilizers of fuel in the body - reacts to either adequate or inadequate nutrition resulting in changes to your mood and how you feel.

Joy Musselman, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital, stopped by to discuss what that means, but here are a few pointers to get you started.

  • We are learning that high quality “fuel” or nutrition is important in regulating mood. For instance, high quality fuels such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, nuts, and fish have been shown to be associated with a lower risk of depression.
  • Specific nutrients - including B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and magnesium - may also help improve mood by boosting the production of important neurotransmitters.
  • Nutrition and diet should be considered as part of an overall treatment plan for mental illness and should not replace medication or counseling with a qualified mental health professional.
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