Articles on nutrition facts label

Water Nutrition Facts

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Ever notice how lifeless a house plant looks when you forget to water it? Just a little water and it seem to perk back up. Water nutrition is just as essential for our bodies because it is in every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. That is why getting enough water nutrition every day is important for your health. Water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. It is the basis for the fluids of the body. Water makes up more than two-thirds of the weight of the human body i.e. the body is made up of 55–75 percent water. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones.Here are some facts about water nutrition:-- Water is the main constituent of the body and forms 50-60% of body weight and around 75% of volume. The exact amount varies with age and sex and also depends on body fat content.- Water contains no fats, no proteins, no carbohydrates and therefore no calories.- Lukewarm Water is the perfect complement for a nutritionally balanced meal.- Even in the absence of any visible perspiration, approximately half of water loss occurs through the operation of our lungs and skin.- Water is one of the six basic nutrients. It is widely seen as the most important nutrient because the body requires it constantly and all the important chemical reactions – such as the production of energy – take place in water.- Simply breathing in and out uses more than a pint of water a day. Without water, you would only expect to live for around one week.- Drinking water helps keep the body flushed of waste products.- Strange as it sounds, drinking more water actually helps to reduce water retention.- We each use around 150 litres of water a day, but national surveys show us that we currently drink as little as one litre – that’s around half the amount we need.- We lose lots of water when we suffer from diarrhoea, sickness or infections that cause fever. It is vital to drink more water at these times.- It is generally recommended that adults should drink around two litres of water daily and considerably more when they perform exercise and/or the weather is hot. 6-8 good-sized glasses of water a day should give you this amount.- Being well hydrated helps medicines to work more effectively and helps combat the diuretic effect of some medicines.- Water is the drink of choice for protecting your teeth and gums.Water Nutrition - Recommended Daily IntakeApproximately six to eight glasses (at least 150ml each) of a variety of fluids can be consumed each day. More than eight glasses may be needed for physically active people, children, and people living in hot or humid environments, and breastfeeding women (who need an extra 750–1,000ml per day). Less water may be needed for sedentary people, older people, people in a cold environment or people who eat a lot of high water content foods.

Reading Nutrition Labels Correctly

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nutrition labels are supposed to tell us how healthy or unhealthy a food really is. Some of us read them, many don't. But if you read them, are you reading them correctly? Reading nutrition label can help make wise food choices but knowing how to read the nutrition fact label can be complicated without the right guide. So, let us show step by step how to correctly read the nutrition label:Step 1- Start with serving sizeAt the top of the label are the serving size and the number of servings per container.  Serving sizes is the amount of food that is typically eating in one serving indicated by cup or number. Serving sizes differ on each food label and may not equal the serving size you normally eat. If you double a serving size, you must also double all the other values on the nutrition label.Step 2- Tally up "Calories" and "Calories from Fat"The calories in a serving and calories derived from fat are displayed directly under the portion sizes. The number of calories you actually take in is determined by the number of servings you eat. For example one serving (10g) of packaged bhelpuri provides 56 calories with 36 calories from fat. And if you eat 5 serving (50 g) of it, then you are actually eating 280 calories with 180 calories from fat.Step 3- Learn about % Daily ValueReferred to DV, the Percent Daily Value tells how much of a certain nutrient one serving of food contains, to how much of that nutrient you should consume daily (based on 2,000 calorie diet).Step 4- Finding nutrients which need to be limited in diet:a) Adding up “Total Fat”: Displayed next is total fat which includes fats that are good, such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and fats that are not so good, such as saturated and trans fats ("hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" fats ).b) Finding about "Cholesterol": Next is how much cholesterol is provided by one serving of food (limit to 200 mg/day).c) Looking at "Sodium" content. Sodium, a hidden ingredient in many foods, especially processed food, such as canned soups and tomato sauces.Step 5- Identifying nutrients needed in moderate amountsa)    "Total Carbohydrates": This number represents total of all different types of carbohydrates from eating one serving of food.b)    "Protein" amount. This number tells you how much protein you obtain from consuming one serving of food.Step 6-Be vigilant about amount of "Sugar"This is the amount of sugar you get by consuming one serving of food. Some carbohydrates become sugar when digested in body, so we may be actually consuming more sugar than what is on label.Step 7- Identifying nutrients needed in maximum amountsa)"Total fiber”: This number represents grams of dietary fiber in one serving of food. A food is considered high in fiber if it contains 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. Men age 50 and younger should get at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while women age 50 and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day.b) Vitamins and Minerals: The nutrition label lists vitamin A, C, calcium and iron. If not present in the food then label mention a footnote ‘Not a significant source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium & Iron’.Step 8- Don't forget to look at ‘Footnote’A chart based on a 2,000-calorie and 2,500-calorie diet. But the question is how many calories do you need? If your body needs 1600 calories or 2800 calories, then clearly you should keep that in mind.Healthy eating often starts with knowing yourself & about what you are putting in mouth. A key step is to know how to read "Nutrition Facts" on a food label and not relying on phrases like “healthy” or “low-fat”. This can help you make quick, informed choices that contribute to healthy eating through more informed label reading.

Nutritional Facts and Myths During Pregnancy

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
So you are expecting? Enjoy the  wild rage of raging hormones, crazy cravings and body changes that are about to begin. As if you did not have enough you are also going to be bombarded with a ton of conflicting and unsolicited advice, much involves what you put in your mouth.MYTHS AND FACTS:1. MYTH: You should eat for twoFACT: It is true that nutrient needs increase but energy requirement only whereas by 150  calories for 1st trimester per day and 350 calories per day for second trimester and third trimester.2. MYTH: Eating kesar will give a fair complexion to the child.FACT: Genes play role in determining complexion of the baby. Eating kesar is not going to determine it.3. MYTH: High-fat diet will keep the baby healthy.FACT: No doubt fat is essential for the body but the problem is that sometimes one consumes fat in excess. So keep control over it.4. MYTH: You should not eat fish.FACT: There is nothing fishy about fish during pregnancy but yes it should have low levels of mercury like catfish, salmon. oysters, shrimps and crab well cooked can also be a source of proteins for the mom to be.5. MYTH: I am having supplements so there is no need to change dietary changes.FACT: During pregnancy the nutrient requirement of certain nutrients especially calcium, iron, folic acid increases. So it calls for dietary modification even if you are swallowing various supplements prescribed by your doctor. Increased intake of milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables, dals, nuts will ensure that your body is not deficient as well as form the basis of strong bones and a healthy weight of fetus.

Reading Nutrition Claims Correctly

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Whether you are on diet for weight loss, on a muscle gain plan, managing you diabetes, or just looking for healthy food. To know if food is really healthy, you need to know two things: how to read the nutrition labels, and understand the claims that foods make, like 'low calorie' 'high fiber' and others. We showed you the first. Now, we'll tell how to decipher claims that a food product makes.Nutrient content claim is a claim that describes the level of a nutrient contained in a food. Here are the claims and what they mean:Fat Free: The food can contains less  0.5 g fat per 100g of servingLite: The food which contain one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the "regular" versionLow in saturated Fat: The food contains less 1.5 g saturated fat per 100g of serving and less than 10% of calories for that food come from saturated fatCholesterol Free: The food contains less 0.005g of cholesterol per 100g of serving and less that 1.5 g saturated fat and less than 10% of calories for that food come from saturated fatSugar Free: The food can contain less than 0.5 g of sugar per 100 gLow in Sodium: The food can contain less than  0.12 g sodium per 100g of the foodSodium Free: The food can contain less than 0.005g or sodium per 100g of the foodLow Calorie: The food can contain less than 40 kcal per 100g of servingCalorie free: The food can contain less than 4 kcal/100g of servingLow in Fat: The food can contain less than 3 g fat per 100g of servingsSource of Protein: If the food contains not less than 10% of the Daily Value per servingHigh Protein: If the food contains 10% to 19% of the Daily Value of protein per servingSource of Vitamins and Minerals: If the food contains 15 % of the Daily Value per servingHigh in Vitamins and Minerals: If the food contains 10% to 19% of the Daily Value per servingNutrient function claim: a claim that describes the physiological role of the nutrient in growth, development and normal functions of the body. Following claims are allowed if the meet the nutrient claim requirement mentioned above:“Calcium aids in the development of strong bones and teeth”;“Protein helps build and repair body tissues”;“Iron is a factor in red blood cell formation”“Vitamin E protects the fat in body tissues from oxidation”“Contains folic acid: folic acid contributes to the normal growth of the fetus.”So stop wondering what Atta Maggi ‘High Fiber’ means or if marie lite is really lite!! And next time you are up for food shopping compare the food label with the claim requirement before billing.

Do Mangoes Make You Gain Weight?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Consuming seasonal fruits has long been associated with the reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Mango happens to be a summer speciality and a storehouse of essential nutrients.  But just like everything else, too much of it can reverse its benefits. Eating a single mango is great for health but eating too many can lead to weight gain.Get an information to know how to gain weight?Nutritional informationA medium-sized mango weighs around 200 g and provides 150 kcal combined with 28 g of carbohydrates, protein and negligible amount of fat. Sucrose, the healthy complex carbohydrates available in mangoes is a great source for daily dose of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The rich content of fibre, magnesium, iron and antioxidants makes mango a nutritious fruit with zero amount of cholesterol. Mango also has a medium glycemic index ranging from 41-60 making them safe enough to eat in moderation.Health benefits of mangoes: Helps in digestion:Mango is rich in fibre and water content, therefore, it may help you in preventing constipation while promoting regularity in digestive tract and keeping it healthy as well. Lowers Cholesterol:Mango is rich in fibre, pectin and vitamin C, which helps in lowering serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) also know as bad cholesterol for the body. Asthma prevention:Studies have shown that people who consume antioxidants and beta-carotene have less probability of developing asthma. Mango contains plenty of beta-carotene. Bone health:1 medium mango contains about 15 mg of vitamin K, which improves calcium absorption and promotes optimal bone health. Eye health:One cup of sliced mango supplies 25 percent of your daily Vitamin A requirement, which promotes good eyesight, prevents night blindness and dry eyes. Boosts immune system:Generous levels of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangoes keep the immune system healthy and strong. Prevents Heart diseases:The fibre, potassium and vitamin content in mangoes keeps heart healthy. 1 cup of sliced mango (100 g) contains 168 mg of potassium with 1 mg of sodium, which makes mangoes good for heart. Prevent cancer:According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, diets rich in beta-carotene and several compounds like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic, etc present in mango and other fruits may also play a protective role against prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer and leukaemia. Good for skin and hair:Mangoes are great for your hair because they contain vitamin A, a nutrient required for serum production that keeps hair moisturised. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of body tissues, including skin and hair. Adequate intake of vitamin C, which 1-cup of mango per day can provide, is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.Do mangoes make you gain weight?We have been talking a lot about how mangoes help in weight loss, but we should not forget that mangoes can also lead to weight gain. Consider this; one medium sized mango has approximately 150 calories, which means if you eat two medium sized mangoes you consume approximately 300 calories. In India, people usually like to have mangoes after meals. So, when you add mangoes to your diet it means you are adding calories without substituting them with something else from your diet. These additional calories can lead to weight gain.So, it is always better to have mangoes in place of mid-morning or evening snacks. This way you can enjoy the delicious taste of seasonal fruit without worrying about the additional calories.Some low calorie healthy mango preparations are:Low calorie mango smoothie                         Peel the mango and cut into pieces.Add the mango pieces into the blender and make a smooth paste.Add low fat plain yoghurt and blend together. If it is too runny then you can add more yoghurt to it and blend.Add ice cubes and serve cold.1 cup of mango smoothie gives approximately 150 kcal (without sugar)Low calorie mango yoghurtPeel and chop mango into small pieces.Take fresh low fat yoghurt and blend till it smoothens.Add chopped mangoes and mix well. Your fruit yoghurt is ready.Though it is not required to add sugar into it but if you feel you can add half teaspoon in the yoghurt at the time of blending.1 cup of mango yoghurt gives approximately 150 kcal (without sugar)Low calorie mango shakePeel the mango and cut into pieces.Add the mango pieces into the blender and make smooth paste.Add low fat milk and blend together.Add ice cubes and serve cold.1 glass of mango shake gives approximately 180 kcal (without sugar)So, the next time you think of gorging on yummy mangoes, try these low calorie recipes without worrying about weight gain.

Which Is Healthier - Pizza or Burger?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
When it comes to a fast food meal choice, pizzas and burgers tops the list. They are the most common and one of the most favorite across the globe. They are available in different varieties and sizes to serve all kinds of taste buds and levels of appetite. People often substitute their major meals with pizzas or burgers. In a growing health conscious world, we are always looking for healthier choices. So let’s compare the nutrition facts of pizza and burger and find out which is a healthier choice.Total Calories 2 slices of a regular crust cheese pizza has about 480 calories, whereas a regular, single patty cheese burger contains about 350 calories. Clearly both are high calorie foods but 2 slices pizza are slightly higher in calories than a regular burger. Let’s find out more about the nutrition they contain -Carbohydrate2 pizza slices contain 61 gram of carbohydrates whereas a burger contains 28 gram of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates present in pizzas and burgers are refined sugars. As refined sugars lack fiber, they do not keep the stomach filled for longer leading to untimely cravings, feeling of fatigue and loss of energy.Read to get more information on Importance of high fiber foods.Fat2 pizza slices contain 18 gram of total fat out of which 8 gram is the harmful saturated fat. On the other hand, a burger contains 19.8 gram of total fat, out of which 9.2 comes from saturated fat. Although low in total calories, a burger is higher in fat content than pizza slices. Regular intake of food rich in fats can lead to obesity increasing risk of lifestyle diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes and hypertension.Cholesterol2 pizza slices contain 42 mg of cholesterol whereas a burger contains 52 mg of cholesterol. Clearly burger is a high cholesterol meal choice. High blood cholesterol levels can lead to plaque buildup in arteries which can increase the risk of heart diseases.Get more information on 7 cholesterol lowering foods to stay healthy.Sodium2 pizza slices contain 924 mg of sodium, whereas a burger contains 976 mg of sodium. Recommended sodium content in a food product for it to be a healthy choice is about 140 mg or less. Clearly both pizza slices and burger are too high on the sodium content.Nutritionally, both pizza and burger has not much to offer in terms of health to the body. Both are high in fat and sodium. These are harmful for the heart and add inches to your belly. Comparing the two, we can say that a burger is high in fat, cholesterol and sodium whereas a serving of pizza (2 slices) is calorie rich and high in carbohydrates.

True or False?

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Question 1: If it’s labeled “natural,” it’s healthier. True or False?Answer: False. This is a classical example of what we, in the health industry, refer to as a ‘labeling loophole.’ The fact that a product felt the need to claim itself natural should make you suspicious in the first place. Check the list of ingredients to be 100% sure of what you’re gettingQuestion 2: A food could be labeled “lite” or light,” but it might still have fat. True or False?Answer: True. It has 50% less fat compared to the regular version of that same food but it has fat nevertheless. Pro-tip: Always opt for the regular version. Light versions of food have to add extra salt or sugar to compensate for the loss in texture and taste that took place by removing the fat. Read the nutrition facts and ingredients list carefully before making a decisionQuestion 3: A food “made with real fruit” means that it’s mostly fruit. True or False?Answer: False. When a product claims it’s “made with” fruits, or vegetables, it doesn’t mean there has to be a lot of it in there. The actual amounts of those ingredients can be pretty small. Shocking, right? Again, check the ingredient list to make sure fruit is one of the first ingredients you see on the list. Or you could just go buy a fruit and have that instead, you know?Question 4: If it says “whole grains” on the package, you’re mostly getting whole grains. True or False?Answer: False. A food can say “made with whole grain” or “rich in whole grain” even if whole grains aren’t one of the main ingredients. It could have lots of refined grains, too, and just a sprinkling of whole grains. I know, this whole process can be SO deceiving! Again, check the ingredients. Closer the ingredient is to the beginning of the list, the better.Question 5: Organic foods are always the healthier choice. True or False?Answer: Okay, there is no easy way to answer this. Yes, organic foods are better and healthier compared to their GMO-sprayed counterparts. But here in India, so many of your roadside vendors might actually be organic without they themselves knowing that that is how they should position and market themselves. On the other end of the spectrum, there are others who could claim to be organic and since there is no government body regulating this claim, we will never know! So what’s the best way forward? Check your source and shop consistently from the same source/vendor if possible!Question 6: Here’s a slight deviation from True and False to a Multiple choice. Which claim means a food doesn’t have any trans fats in it?a)Zero trans fatb) no trans fatc)neitherAnswer: No trans fats. It’s confusing, but if a label says “zero” trans fats, it can still have as much as 1/2 gram per serving. So if you eat a few servings, it does add up!Question 7: Last one! Excellent source’ of fiber means you’ll get all you need for the day. True or False?Answer: False. For a product to claim that it is an ‘excellent source’ of fiber, it only needs to have 20% of the recommended daily value of that nutrient per serving.That’s it. Any statements or claims you read recently which have gotten you wondering are true or false? Write in the comment box below or email us

Myth - Fat Free Food Is Healthy

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Over the past century, we have seen an entire generation panic over fat and obsess over the supposed desirability of thinness. This is why, any food items with the tag “fat-free” found their way in our baskets. However, truth be told, if you want to lower cholesterol or lose weight, then it’s best to avoid those fat free products. In Spite of our warnings, these food items are fast filling up all major supermarkets, and truth be told, our kitchens also.With our absurd fear of fat, we often miss out its true meaning of the fat free. What do I mean? According to the FDA, fat free product must have fat less than 0.5 grams as per serving. This will go well only if you eat “per serving,” which means, if you consume more than that, the food item ceases to be fat free.We can therefore, safely conclude, that fat free food doesn’t help you lose weight, it actually makes you fat. Sad, but that’s the truth. Read more about tips to lose weight.You eat more! Sometimes fat free is so taste free, that makers tend to pour more ingredients like sugar, salt , additives, enhancers, thickeners-that all add more calories. Due to it’s taste, you tend to eat more and put on those extra unwanted calories.That ultimately make you more bulky and fat. Which is clearly not good. However, in a way, these companies give you false hopes in the name of fat free foods. Have you ever tried reading the nutritional label of a fat free food? You will be scared! Most of these products are filled with fillers that does not add anything to the nutritional value. These food producing companies, furthermore, market the items in ways that it appears to be much healthier products. While it’s a success for the marketing team, what we fail to realize is that the chemicals in these product are building up the toxic levels in our body, which would eventually be some of causative agents of many diseases. Truth be told, while consuming these fat free foods, you typically end up consuming 30% more calories than your regular food. However, this doesn’t mean that consuming less of these similar items or binging more on the greasy stuff would be good. The idea here is to first understand that we should include foods that have good fats in them. For example, nuts and seeds, fish, mustard oil, olive oil and avocados are loaded with good fats. So, next time you are hungry, choose nuts instead of the multigrain cookies.How to stay away from fat free foods?1. Shop smartRemember that not all fat free foods are bad. Consuming in moderation is the trick.2. Read food labelsBefore purchasing any fat free items, make sure that the product is minus sugar and additives. It should not contain any more calories.3. Keep a watch on your servingsThis means three servings of a low fat ice-cream is actually nowhere fat free. You have to stop at one.While I agree there are a growing number of people with real time problems, “fat” is not necessarily all bad. While it's actually sad to see the society’s miserable obsession with being thin, it is also true that in the modern world, our sedentary lifestyle and easily available junk food, does conspire to make us fat. For those unlucky us, it is important that our diets and lifestyle is maintained under strict vigilance of healthy. Include fat in your diet, but in moderation.

Nutrition for the Elderly

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Are the seniors in Your Life Eating Well? No matter your age, it is important to get the right amount of nutrients every day. However, the elderly are often at a higher risk for certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to a variety of factors, such as low activity, slow body functions, comparatively a weaker immunity or poorly balanced diet and medication consumption. Talk to your dietitian and doctor about your changing nutritional needs as you age, and ask him/her about making changes to your diet or taking supplements to help prevent any of the nutritional deficiencies.Studies show that a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosis, heart diseases and certain cancers. As you age, you might need less energy. But you still need just as many of the nutrients in food. To get the proper nutrition for the elderly, refer the following guidelines related to food and nutrition.Vitamin B-12Elderly men and women have a higher risk of B-12 deficiency because their stomachs do not contain an adequate amount of hydrochloric acid, which helps the body absorb the B-12 in food. For this reason, those over 50 should get the bulk of their vitamin B-12 through supplements or fortified foods like cereals, milk etc.ZincZinc is important for immune system health, wound healing, and blood clotting and thyroid function. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, lack of taste or smell, hair loss, skin problems and depression. Men need 11 milligrams of zinc a day, and women need 8 milligrams, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. You can get this amount by eating foods like red meat, fish, poultry, cheese, legumes, whole grains and sunflower seeds.Calcium and Vitamin DAs you get older, your risks of losing bone mass and developing osteoporosis increase. Along with regular exercise, consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D can help keep your skeletal system strong and slow bone loss. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, men and women over the age of 65 needs between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day, and good food sources include dairy products like milk and cheese. Early morning sunshine is the best source of vitamin D.Other Considerations regarding Nutrition for the ElderlyOffer nutritionally-dense foods. Since many seniors aren't eating as much as they should, the food they do eat must be as nutritious as possible. Encourage whole, unprocessed foods that are balanced in calories and nutrients for their size.Enhance aromas and flavors. Appealing foods may help stimulate appetite, especially in someone whose senses of taste and smell aren't what they used to be.Make eating a social event. Many seniors who live alone or suffer from depression may stop cooking meals, lose their appetites, and depend on convenience foods. If you are worried that your parent or grandparent isn't eating properly, make meals a family occasion.Encourage healthy snacking. Many seniors don’t like to eat large meals or don't feel hungry enough to eat three full meals a day. One solution is to encourage or plan for several mini-meals throughout the day.Nutrition for the Elderly-How can they stay on track Eating healthily is an ongoing commitment, but it’s easier than you think. Here are some tips for staying on course:Ask for help. Admit when you need a hand to shop, cook, and plan meals and find someone to help. It’s important for your health not to revert to frozen dinners or takeout food.Variety, variety, variety! Try eating and cooking something new as soon as boredom strikes.Make every meal “do-able.” Healthy eating needn't be a big production. Keep it simple and you’ll stick with it. Stocking the pantry and fridge with wholesome choices will make it easier to prepare quick, tasty meals.Set the mealtime mood. Set the table, light candles, play music, or eat outside or by a window when possible. Tidying yourself and your space will help you enjoy the moment.Break habits. If you eat watching TV, try eating while reading or use the time to catch up with your spouse or a friend. If you eat at the counter, set the table instead.

Food and Nutrition: Boost Your Mood With Some Food

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
If you thought poor nutrition only affected the poor, think again. Millions of human beings across the world suffer from under-nutrition. Under nutrition refers not to lack of access to food, but to the body's inability to absorb nutrients. As the saying goes, you are what you eat. This doesn't apply only to your physical health, but to your mental health as well. Here are some things you should know about foods and your moods.  Say NO! to these foods1. Dump the junkMost fast foods contain trans-fats, artificial colors, monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners and other synthetic ingredients and have little nutritional value. These ingredients have been linked to irritability and depression in the long run.2. Sugar and glutenThe sugar and gluten present in some foods affect mental health. Consuming them in high quantities will suppress BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) activity BDNF is a growth protein which keeps brain neurons healthy. This can lead to depression, schizophrenia and other mental problems in people.Say YES! to these foods1. Omega-3 fatty acidsFoods like flax seed, walnuts and salmon contain Omega 3, which affects neurotransmitter pathways in the brain, and improves heart function by reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.2. L-Tryptophanis an essential nutrient for brain function. This amino acid is responsible for the production of a chemical called serotonin, which is used to treat people with depression. This can be found in red meat, dairy products and turkey.3. MagnesiumThis vitamin helps maintain physical and mental health. Leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and avocados contain magnesium, and their regular consumption will keep your mood light and your body healthy.4. Folic acid and vitamin B-12Both these essential nutrients increase metabolism and production of blood cells, which keep the brain healthy.Low levels of these nutrients are associated with depression and mood swings. Folic acid is present in fruits and leafy vegetables, and vitamin B 12 in seafood, meat and dairy products.What we eat determines how we feel! So, eat right and boost your mood with nutrition dense food!