Uplift Your Mood With These 7 Awesome Foods
Feeling blue? If you’re thinking of finding solace in your favorite Ben&Jerry tub, then think again. You don’t have to compromise your entire diet for one moment down in the dumps.
That’s because there are also healthy ways to kickstart your feel-good hormones and improve your well-being. You can simply eat your way to happiness with these 7 awesome foods that uplift your mood in no time. Include them in your diet and you will always be ready to embrace a new day with a positive outlook and a big smile on your face.
One of the best members of the food for mood team is oysters. This seafood delicacy is a great source of zinc, a mineral that our bodies do not store but need to consume on a daily basis to maintain brain health.
Oysters are also high in vitamin B12 which is well known for reducing brain shrinkage and risks of depression, and tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulated the production of feel good chemicals.
The entire berry family is a nutritional powerhouse, but blueberries are in a league of their own. These tiny fruits are packed with vitamin C and polyphenols with antioxidant role. They help protect the brain cells from free radicals and improve cognition, while reducing cellular aging.
Studies showed that a significant increase in overall mood has been encountered in both adults and children, only a few hours after consuming blueberries. For an even bigger mood and brain health boost, opt for wild blueberries.
Leafy greens are at the top of the pyramid when it comes to foods that boost brain function and mood. This top position is due to their high nutrient content, among which fiber, folate and iron.
Iron and folate deficiencies have been linked to a higher risk of depression and anxiety, so a daily serving of leafy greens is just what you need to keep your brain in optimum health. Not to mention the B vitamins that provide energy which in turn, makes us feel positive and able to successfully carry out daily activities.
Emerging studies show that gut bacteria plays a very important role in sending and receiving signals to the brain. Which means your mental health could be influenced by the good or the bad bacteria produced from the food you eat.
To maintain an overall good level of health and have a more positive mental outlook, it is recommended to consume fermented foods like kimchi, pickled vegetables or dairy products like yogurt. These are rich in beneficial bacteria, aka probiotics, which promote digestive but also brain health via the gut-brain axis.
Another healthy way to uplift your mood is to eat salmon. It is not only rich in omega 3s which are directly linked to brain health but it also contains high levels of vitamin D which is known to help ward off depression.
In addition, salmon is a great source of Vitamin B12. Together with folate, B12 stimulates the production of brain chemicals that promote a positive mood and balance the nervous system.
Chocolate makes you happy. There, we’ve said it. And more and more studies are backing this up. In fact, a recent study showed that 40g of dark chocolate consumed for 14 days significantly reduced the number of stress hormones and anxiety level.
All thanks to a series of compounds which contribute to boosting the endorphins and serotonin levels like no other. Plus, it’s a great source of antioxidants, iron and magnesium that promote relaxation and contentment. A small square of chocolate can do wonders for your overall mood and positive brain fuel.
If you’ve only associated protein to building muscle mass, then, you need to know that it is also very important for mental health. As a matter of fact, studies suggest that vitamin B12 deficiency, mostly coming from animal protein sources, can increase depression or anxiety symptoms.
To avoid this, consume lean protein such as tuna, turkey or beans. They all include an amino acid called tryptophan, which stimulates the production of the key mood-boosting neurotransmitter, serotonin. Lean protein is also rich in tyrosine, another amino acid that fights depression and is necessary in the production of adrenaline.