Eat to Keep Your Spirits Up
Better Nutrition|February 2021
When it comes to staying motivated and keeping a positive outlook, diet can make all the difference.
By Vera Tweed

Working from home and steering clear of social gatherings can crush your mood and your motivation to eat healthy foods and exercise. A survey of more than 1,000 adults by supplement manufacturer Optimum Nutrition found that since the pandemic began, 62 percent of Americans have become concerned about their overall health, 51 percent are exercising less, and 42 percent are eating less healthy food— a situation that can have profoundly negative effects on mood.

Given the suffering and loss of life during this pandemic, as well as the financial hardships experienced by many people, it may be hard to believe that what you eat today, tomorrow, and the next day can make a difference in the way you feel and how you cope—but it definitely can.

The Diet-Depression Link

Numerous studies have found a correlation between depression and ultra-processed food—food that has been substantially altered from its natural state. In Spain, more than 15,000 adults were tracked for over 10 years, and researchers found that those who ate the most ultra-processed foods were almost twice as likely to develop depression. And a 5-year French study of more than 26,000 people found that for every 10-percent increase in ultra-processed foods consumed, there was a corresponding 21-percent higher likelihood of depression.

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