Living » Ask the Experts at East Jefferson General Hospital

Can diet affect my mood?

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Absolutely. Studies have shown that certain vitamin deficiencies can be linked to depression and anxiety. For example, vitamins B12, B6 and Folate are essential for the formation of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, which help to regulate mood. Low levels serotonin or norepinephrine are often associated with depression and other mood disorders.

Foods that assist in the production of neurotransmitters include the following: oysters, clams, trout, salmon, milk, eggs, cheese, turkey, chickpeas, bananas, prunes, turkey, cabbage, asparagus, spinach, collard and turnip greens.

Likewise, some foods can destabilize mood by blocking or impeding the production of neurotransmitters, especially those high in sugar, caffeine or alcohol.

For more information on how your diet can affect mood, contact sports and lifestyle nutritionist Julie Fortenberry, LDN, RD, at 504.457.3100 at The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org/thefitnessprinciple.

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