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Wet weather, cooler temperatures, less sun: Fall affects many people’s moods. If you reach for certain foods, you can lift your spirits a bit. Andreas Jopp, medical journalist and author In an interview with Happy Eating Instead of Burnout magazine, she talks about how nutrition affects stress and the psyche, and what foods to eat to combat the autumn blues.

As you write in your new book, can we make ourselves happier and more mentally resilient?

Andreas Jopp: It elevates our mood for a short period of time through sweet and fatty messenger substances. Food companies are manipulating us with it. Unfortunately, since these two substances in processed foods have an inflammatory effect on the brain, mood levels tend to decline after a short period of time. Inflammation causes changes in mood and attacks the small neurons in the brain. Our brains respond to food very dynamically.

And biological substances in healthy nutrition and healthy fats repeatedly repair the stress center in the brain – the hippocampus and stimulate growth factors. This leads to it a stable mood and greater resistance to stress. Most people think that their brains and psyches function somehow independently of what we eat. In fact, brain function is more quickly affected by good or bad nutrition than any other organ. When we eat a lot of highly processed foods, our risk of depression increases by 35 percent. And depression is only the tip of the iceberg. Before long, we have mood swings and start feeling the same stress over and over again. Ultra-processed foods now make up 56 percent of all Germans’ diets. This is fatal for the psyche.

What does the optimal happiness diet look like?

Yes: As much plant matter as possible is better. This brings the level of inflammation decreases, it stimulates the most BDNF – the most important growth factor for new brain growth and it feeds billions of gut bacteria. They use only vegetable matter. In turn, they produce large amounts of anti-inflammatory messengers and psychomolecules for us. Today we know how closely related are mood, brain function and brain degeneration to the bacteria living in our room – the microbiome.

Are there superfoods among organics?

Smart shopping is important. Ten times as much in a handful of blackberries antioxidants For the brain contained like a light banana. Five times more deep green arugula than iceberg lettuce. It means smart Buy as much black as possible. Eat fruits (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), dark salads, broccoli and kale every day. Drink more homemade green smoothies. Red and green pigments protect the brain and bind harmful free radicals there. Free radicals have an inflammatory effect and are one of the causes of depression. This is shown by a new analysis of 18 studies.

Also, eat plenty of flavonoids. These plant substances have been shown to induce a potent release of the growth factor BDNF. It clears the brain. rich in flavonoids Citrus fruits, turmeric, nuts, dark berries, vegetables and cocoa. Turmeric is a special superfood: Not only does it stimulate BDNF, it also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that only powerful drugs can achieve. A new study of ten studies confirms this Antidepressant effects of turmeric.

Supplemental vitamin D is also important starting in the fall. It keeps the mood stable. Low vitamin D levels make you prone to mood swings.

Also interesting: Recipe for Golden Milk

What foods kill the mood?

Eating too much saturated fat increases inflammation, and over a short period of time, BDNF drops by 38 percent. It changes the brain. Inflammation increases the risk of depression by 40 percent. Too much fatty meat, sausage, cheese, fatty dairy products – all of them are bad for your brain health.
The second mood killer is highly processed foods: too sweet, too fat, too many calories, too little biologics, too little dietary fiber for the gut bacteria factory.

Can we improve the values ​​of very bad moods like depression?

Severe depression is the ultimate test of whether or not good nutrition is the result. A new field of research in “nutritional psychiatry” shows that severe depression can be treated more successfully with a diet rich in biological substances than with antidepressants or psychotherapy. Recent estimates suggest that antidepressants have little to no placebo effect and do not work at all in most patients.

And biological substances restore important parts of the brain and this affects the psyche. This changes the biological component of mood swings. Psychotherapy then focuses on the real problems. Thus, dietary modification is the first treatment measure in the official clinical guidelines for the treatment of depression in Australia and New Zealand. More people should be informed about this.

How can you sum it all up in one memorable diet tip?

Follow the traditional Mediterranean diet. It contains good fats and many biological substances. A Start with lettuce, lots of vegetables and legumes, a handful of nuts, lots of herbs, good fats, some fish and almost no meat – This is how you keep your brain healthy and your psyche stable. The Mediterranean diet has been proven by many studies to reduce inflammation levels, have good biologics for bacterial factory and 26 studies show that it has the least depression. Biomaterials disinfect the brain and operate on many levels simultaneously. This is especially important on cloudy days in autumn and winter. So happiness is in your hands.

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