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Can diet have an impact on your teen’s moods? A new study on sodium and potassium excretion has linked diet to mood disorders as well as depression in teens. Since teen depression rates have increased by over 35% in the last decade, this is the perfect time to really dig deeper and find the root of the problem.
Keep in mind that every new study that comes out and every bit of data we receive from the research is of a particular group that was observed, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s going on in everyone’s home. Although it is interesting to see the different outcomes depending on age groups, gender, and living situations that these surveys investigate, its best to study your own habits firsthand for a more realistic view on your own situation.
As a parent, the biggest take away for me Is that making sure our kids are eating healthy is even more important than we once thought. There are a lot of studies and countless amounts of books that study the brain-gut connection and they all share one common theme. Eating more fruits and vegetables, foods that are rich in vitamins, and made without the use of artificial ingredients or preservatives, are best. Avoiding foods that are high in sodium and fat as well as highly processed foods is always a good idea for every age group.
That doesn’t mean we can’t indulge occasionally, but it is best to stick to a healthy diet more often than not and to observe our own habits to see how our diet affects our moods.
To figure out if your teen’s moods are being impacted by the diet you can encourage them to keep a food diary and be sure to keep track of their moods throughout the day by jotting down a simple happy face or sad face or even angry face, whatever the moods may be. Maybe you prefer a more tech-savvy way to keep track of your teen’s eating habits and moods. There are so many apps out there that you can download for free to help. Checking in with the app throughout the day to report fluctuating moods and food intake is essential in finding out how eating certain foods may affect your teen’s moods.
Another great way to see the possible link is to do an elimination diet and only add in foods after observing the effects.