Whether you’re feeling gloomy, tired or brain-dead, let these foods help you set your moods straight naturally.
We know by now that food can affect us physically, but can our diet turn our emotions around? Turns out it can. The food we eat can alter our brain structures both chemically and physiologically, which can contribute to behavioral changes. This means that if you’re looking to munch on food for a good mood, you can.
From fighting the blues to gearing up for an important deadline, here’s what to eat to get the most out of any situation.
If you’re chummy with an often crummy mood, tuck in to these bad mood busters and keep depression at bay.
According to Stephen Ilardi, PhD, author of The Depression Cure, as quoted by Womansday.com, “Regular consumption of omega-3s has extensive research support for both the prevention and treatment of clinical depression. And there’s growing evidence that omega-3s also help reduce anger and irritability.” Fatty fish like salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3. Incorporate this low-calorie goodness into your diet for a heart-healthy, mood-boosting cure.
Another fantastic source of omega-3, walnuts also contain Vitamin B9, a form of folate that is associated with lowering the probability of depression. It’s important to note that all B vitamins are water-soluble, hence consistent intake is necessary to refuel our body and mental health.
For an additional helping of water-soluble folate, replace your romaine lettuce with spinach on your salad plate. Also packed with folate, adding spinach into your diet can help to regulate serotonin production, a chemical produced by the body that helps to maintain mood balance.
Protein can also help to balance serotonin levels, so naturally Greek yogurt makes our feel-good foods list. Containing twice as much protein as traditional yogurt, snacking the Greek variety is an excellent pick-me-up.
A nutrient-rich carbohydrate, quinoa is exceptionally high in protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids), which makes it perfect as a post-workout treat to enhance your energy levels. It also contains iron, which carries and supplies oxygen to promote neurotransmitter synthesis and metabolism.
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With one cup of mushrooms equipped with almost half of our body’s daily iron need, it strengthens our blood cells and optimizes oxygen supply to our major organs for energy and health.
Featured in our 5 awesome pre-workout fuel foods, bananas are high in potassium content, which makes them an ideal snack for the restless. Combined with B vitamins and carbohydrates, digestion and blood sugar levels are regulated and work to sustain and release energy gradually throughout the day.
Studies have shown that flavonol-rich cocoa like dark chocolates helps to increase blood flow to the brain. This can lead to improved attention span and memory.
Mussels contain DHA and B vitamins, two major nutrients that are significant for brain health. Any deficiency in vitamin B-12 will result in a decrease in concentration and mood. Mussels are also natural multi-vitamins and contain an equal amount of iron and folic acid as red meats, making them an ideal iron source for vegetarians.
Also loaded with B vitamins, beets consists of two other nutrients — Betaine and Uridine — that are beneficial for strengthening brain function. While Betaine acts as a natural antidepressant, Uridine works to stimulate phospotidylcholine production, which helps to increase your brain’s processing abilities.
As reported by The New Zealand Herald, a study by New Zealand science company Plant & Food Research indicated that “blackcurrants can help people stay alert and reduce mental fatigue”. One of the most valuable sources of Vitamin C, consuming antioxidant-rich blackcurrant helps to increase iron absorbency and keeps the brain protected from free radical damage.
Tell us by commenting below: do you have a go-to food for a mood lifter?