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Medstar Health Monday - Week 16

Eat Yourself Happy

There is growing evidence that the food we eat can impact our mood or mental health. For example, serotonin is a
neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite, and mood. 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal
(GI) tract and your GI tract is lined with nerve cells or neurons. Therefore, your GI tract does more than digest food, but
it can impact how you feel or your mood. It may be a good idea to pay attention to how a food may make you feel not
just at the moment but also the next day. You can write these feelings and moods down in a journal and see if you
notice any trends.

1. Fruits and Vegetables/Healthy Eating- Although the evidence is limited, there is research from the University of
Leeds that shows that eating just one extra serving of fruits or vegetables each day can boost your mood. In addition,
another study out of the University of Manchester supports these findings, saying that eating a "healthy diet" can ease
symptoms of depression. Researchers analyzed data from approximately 46,000 people and found that eating
nutrient-dense meals that are high in fiber and vegetables can be beneficial to your mental health. Other studies have
found an association between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer mental health. So, while the relationship between
food and mood exists, more studies are needed to determine if a specific food or eating pattern enhances mood.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids- This supplement is popular with parents for its role in depression and ADHD. Epidemiologic
studies have demonstrated that increased consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake is associated with a
decreased risk of major depression. Further studies have found an association between reduced levels of omega-3
fatty acids in people who suffer from depression. Deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids has recently been investigated as a
potential pathogenetic mechanism in ADHD. There is literature that shows that omega 3 fatty acid supplementation
significantly improves parental reports of ADHD symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.
3. Probiotics or fermented foods- Studies show that when people take probiotics their anxiety levels and perception of
stress and mental outlook improve compared to people who don’t. Probiotics can be found in yogurt, kombucha, kefir,
sauerkraut, miso soup, pickles, kimchi, and tempeh.

Click here for a more in depth article on food and mental health

Baltimore Union Sports Medicine Team

Union Sports Medicine Liaison: Bryan Caplan, DPT, MTC ([email protected])
Athletic Trainer:Amber Radtke, MS, LAT, ATC, NASM-CES ([email protected])
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jay Dyer, CSCS ([email protected])
Vice President of MedStar Sport Medicine: Sean Huffman
Director of MedStar Sports Medicine Research: Andy Lincoln

Baltimore City (Harbor Hospital)
Physician: Jeffrey Mayer, Leigh Ann Curl
Sports PT: Chadd Baldwin
Concussion PT: Emily Coates

Baltimore County (Franklin Square)
Urgent Care: MedStar Franklin Square ED
Physician: Frank Dawson, David Cohen, Christopher Looze
Sports PT: Ryan Zimmerman
Concussion PT: Michael Ariete, Jana Bille

Baltimore County (Dundalk)
Physician: Kelly Ryan
Sports & Concussion PT: Laura Long

Baltimore County (Timonium)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care Towson
Physician: Andrew Tucker, Richard Levine, Melita Moore
Sports PT: Chad Keller
Concussion PT: Patrick Miller

Harford County (Bel Air)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care
Physician: Sean Curtain
Sports PT: Chelsea Mitchell
Concussion PT: Adrienne Nelson
Concussion PT: Tori Palmer

Baltimore County (Perry Hall)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care
Sports PT: Stephanie Stover
Concussion PT: Mark Musselman

MedStar Sports Medicine is the official medical team for the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Blast, Washington Spirit, and more than 50 additional professional, collegiate, high school, and club teams.


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