Forget Resolutions: Follow These Diet Tips For Optimal Wellbeing In 2020
There's no denying it, 2020 is officially underway, and if you’ve made it a week into the New Year without breaking your resolutions, you’re doing better than the rest of us. That slow, low-stakes period between Christmas and New Year is an odd one; for the most part, we don’t have anywhere to be and no responsibility. It’s a time that tends to see us spiral inwards and examine what we’ve made of ourselves and the year, while our social media feeds are an endless stream of others’ accomplishments and successes for the year. And while that’s enough to send anyone mad, in this instance the time is ripe for reflection and writing out those New Year’s resolutions (if you’re someone who abides by that kind of thing).
Numerous studies and research has reported that resolutions tend to be very self-oriented. There are the usual desires to lose weight, as well as the quest to find love which, given that you’ve just experienced the nagging weight of the holiday period, is enough to send any long-term relationship careering off the cliff. It’s why the first Sunday of January registers the most users on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. But while others will strive to give back to their community, or make more time to learn something new, dieting and getting the body of our dreams still outweighs most ambitions for the New Year.
But if we’ve seen anything, it’s that short-term, fad diets don’t work. And as we live more of our lives under the weight of capitalism and the constant need to be productive and produce something of note, it can make for a stressful time – and with it, the added health implications of stress eating. In an effort to inspire some more holistic and successful resolutions for optimal health and wellbeing, we’ve looked towards a mammoth research review of numerous diet studies, boiling down the key rules of thumb that will ensure your mental health stays functioning at an optimal level this 2020.
Unhealthy food can rock your mood
Anyone who has ever survived on a University student diet of 2-minute noodles for months at a time, can be the first to tell you that food has a significant impact on your mood. Not surprisingly, the research found that poor diets are associated with worsening mood disorders and as a result, if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety you should pay careful attention to the food you consume. The brain needs nutrients such as lipids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, so the food you eat should address these needs.
Superfoods aren’t the answer
Research indicated that despite the clout of acai bowls and popularity of kale smoothies, there is actually very little science supporting the benefit of superfoods. Yep, no amount of avocado or pomegranate or acai will boost your mood, with researchers suggesting, “Common beliefs about the health effects of certain foods are not supported by solid evidence.”
Make B12 your friend
If there is one nutrient you need to look out for, it’s B12. Low B12 leads to a number of issues, including fatigue, lethargy, depression, and poor memory, and is also associated with mania and psychosis. While other supplements like vitamin D show inconclusive evidence as to their wonders, the deficiency of B12 can lead to more serious complications. B12 is naturally found in animal products like fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products.
ADHD can’t be solved with food
It’s long been rumoured that supplements and elimination diets can help ease the effects of a variety of disorders including ADHD or spectrum disorder. But the evidence is inconclusive, and as this research suggests, none of the experiments so far have analysed long-term impact, nor been conducted under randomised and controlled research. This leads researchers to believe that ADHD can’t be treated or solved with food.
The Mediterranean diet is best for alleviating anxiety and depression
The Mediterranean diet is one focused on vegetables and olive oil (naturally), and is shown to provide some protection against depression, anxiety, and elderly cognitive decline. But while most of us base our food choices off seasonal produce and availability, it’s understandable that not everyone can afford to embrace the Mediterranean diet in full swing. If that’s the case, opt for fresh fruits, veggies, and grains, which have been associated with higher reporter happiness and lower rates of depression.