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Lockdown and Moods: What’s the Connection?

How lockdown shackles our energy

It was almost overnight that we were summoned to stay at home, to stop going to work, to the gym, to visit friends, and to go away for the weekend. The routines that had been at work in our lives for years vanished all of a sudden, leaving us feeling shaky and emotionally insecure.

The stressful situation we now face directly impacts our adrenal glands as well as our microbial and cellular activity. This condition, in turn, brings about emotional and hormonal turmoil that manifests itself in sleeping disorders, irritability, depression, food cravings, and extreme psychological and physical fatigue.

Our whole homeostasis is affected. Our gut microbiome is no longer able to supply us with "feel-good hormones" (endorphins and serotonin).

A lack of physical activity and social interaction are other factors impairing our natural hormone productionas exercises are essential to producing endorphin and serotonin

The intracellular mitochondria produce energy, depending on the oxygen and proper nutrition (magnesium, zinc, vitamins, fatty acids). High cortisol levels directly impact energy production inside the mitochondria, leaving us psychologically and physically exhausted.

Man in a blue jacket stands alone in the middle of a valley of rocks.

How can nutrition help?

Fresh air, proper breathing, and healthy nutrition are the first step to balancing our moods. 

It is essential to set up a nutritional routine that will nourish our neurotransmitters at the right time of the day.

Eating protein in the morning and for lunch will stimulate dopamine and noradrenaline production. This state will boost our energy levels and motivation, as well as power and mental acuteness.

Alike, we can get the necessary nutrients for serotonin production thanks to a late afternoon snack (banana, walnuts, dark chocolate), followed by a healthy evening meal powered by unrefined carbohydrates, legumes, and vegetables. In this manner, we will be able to regulate cravings, irritable moods, and vulnerability to stress.  

 Crownhealth protein bar, banana and almonds, on a table with slices of banana

Getting our food intake in tune with our hormone production is a natural way of regulating sleeping disorders as nutritional chronology will also have an impact on melatonin production, our natural sleeping pill. 

It is essential to give our bodies the time and the means to regenerate.

An early dinner will guarantee at least 12 to 13 hours’ night fasting, and this is one of the keys to cell regeneration. Give special attention to nutritional combinations as they will guarantee high digestibility and therefore boost our energy levels.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, spices, and vitamin C rich foods, cut down on processed foods and sugar. Remember to include omega 3 – abundant, healthy fatty acids to nourish your cell membranes. This nutrition will bring you the nutrients essential to a healthy microbiome and efficient cell functioning. These are the first steps to attenuating the effects of stress.

What we eat, the air we breathe, the environment we live in are at the heart of our wellbeing. We cannot change the laws of lockdown, but we can improve our diet. It is in our power to make small daily changes that will bear positive effects on our moods.

 

Author: nutritionist Marie-Noëlle Bourgeois

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