Lockdown lows - How Nutrition Can Help!

Both COVID-19 and Lockdown have impacted not only our daily routines but our mood and energy levels. Fitness & Nutrition Coach, and Health Writer Jade Mottley discusses how this year has impacted our mental health and how including ingredients such as turmeric, matcha and maca powder into your diet could improve your overall health and wellbeing.


The Mental Health Impacts of Lockdown


I read a quote at the start of the first lockdown in relation to people saying we are all in this together and it read “we are all in the same storm but a different boat”. I think every reader will agree with me in saying this year has been a tough one; lockdown has had people worrying about their own health, that of loved ones, their job security and the financial impact and even down to missing our summer holidays and added doses of vitamin D; the impacts of COVID has affected us all.


68% of young people and 60% of adults have said that their mental health had worsened during the first lockdown. Research from the mental health charity Mind shows that people with experiences of mental health problems are more likely to see their mental health worsen because of the lockdown restrictions and even those without previous experiences have now experienced poor mental health or a decline in their wellbeing. (1) Furthermore, The Health Foundation have shared that 69% of UK adults reported feeling worried about the effect COVID is having on their life: worrying about the future, feelings of stress, anxiety and even boredom(2).


There have been many changes in our daily routines and behaviours that have affected both our physical and mental health. One study has found that mental health has substantially worsened by 8.1% since the start of the first lockdown(2). Impacts of social isolation have been linked to increased feelings of anxiety as well as increased fatigue and reduced performance(3). This year has no doubt had an impact; one study has found that physical activity has reduced in roughly 50% of individuals which could lead to reduced immunity(4). Many studies have found that factors including diet, exercise and sleep can help to strengthen our immune system(5).


The Health Benefits of Turmeric


Curcumin is the main active ingredient found in turmeric; in addition to maca root the curcumin found in turmeric has been shown to have benefits to help against depression(6). Furthermore, curcumin may influence the activation of white blood cells in the immune response through its anti-inflammatory effects(7). Clinical data has shown the effectiveness of curcumin in the prevention of diseases such as cardiovascular disease(8) and preclinical studies have suggested that circumin could inhibit inflammatory responses produced by viral infections such as COVID(9).


The Health Benefits of Matcha


Matcha is from the same plant as green tea, however it is grown differently and has a different nutrition profile containing a greater amount of caffeine and antioxidants(10). Matcha, being rich in caffeine and another ingredient theanine(11) can lead to improved performance and alertness(12). Matcha is very easy to prepare(10) and the Mawish blends can be added to make matcha lattes, protein smoothies or to pudding.


The Health Benefits of Maca Root


The maca root is traditionally used to enhance fertility and sex drive but has claims to improve energy and stamina that can have positive effects on improving learning, memory and sports performance(13). Maca can help to improve mood(13) and has been shown to help reduce both depression and anxiety scores(14). The yellow maca root can help to increase energy, focus and balancing hormones(15). The good news is Maca is easy to incorporate into your diet(14): the Mawish blends can be added into smoothies, porridge, your baking and more.


Article Written by Jade Mottley – Fitness & Nutrition Coach / Health Writer

Website: www.jademottley.com

Instagram / Twitter: @Jademottley


References


  1. https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/5929/the-mental-health-emergency_a4_final.pdf

  2. https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-comment/blogs/emerging-evidence-on-covid-19s-impact-on-mental-health-and-health#:~:text=The%20economic%20impact%20of%20lockdown,unemployed%20were%20widespread%20and%20severe.

  3. https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/113/8/531/5860841

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7358172/

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7307834/

  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

  7. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10875-006-9066-7

  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278270/

  9. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcell.2020.00479/full

  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-matcha-tea

  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213777/

  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28056735/

  13. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-matcha-tea

  14. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-maca-root#TOC_TITLE_HDR_14 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184420/

  15. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/fo/c9fo02732g#!divAbstract





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