Have you ever noticed a link between the foods you eat and beverages you drink with how you feel?
According to emerging evidence, highly processed or ‘junk’ food appears to be linked to lower mood. On the contrary, a healthy balanced diet, particularly one high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, appears to help in:
· improving your mood
· energizing your body
· helping you think more clearly.
Yet, it is important to bear in mind that mood is highly subjective and can be influenced by many factors, such as stress, environment, poor sleep, and genetics.
Nonetheless, certain foods have been shown to improve overall brain health and help you feel upbeat most of the time.
Here’s a selection of foods that have happy superpowers. Add them to your menu and see what a difference they can make for you!
Foods That Positively Support Mood And Overall Well-Being
Oats can keep you upbeat all morning. These nutritious grains come in many varieties, including oatmeal, muesli, granola, and overnight oats. Oats contain fibre, which might lower your blood sugar and improve your mood. Additionally, they are a superior source of iron, which may help those with iron deficiency and mood issues due to anaemia.
This sunny yellow fruit is a prime example of a superfood that may have mood-boosting benefits. This is because bananas are naturally high in an amino acid called tryptophan. Your body produces 5-HTP, the compound that makes serotonin and melatonin, two mood-regulating neurotransmitters. These hormones, nicknamed the ‘happy hormones’ are known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are not just good for your heart health. They are great for brain health too. They are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, fibre, Vitamin E and other important plant compounds that are great for keeping your mind healthy. Additionally, they provide tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for synthesizing mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, as well as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources of harnessing mood-boosting powers from within.
Also read: Protein-packed Foods for Vegetarians
It has been scientifically proven that consuming berries can provide positive moods such as joyful, inspired, enthusiastic, and alert – within two hours of consumption. This is because berries including blueberries, raspberries and strawberries have the nutrients anthocyanidins and anthocyanins which help reduce depression and stress.
Consuming fish high in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to a higher degree of joy and good feelings. Salmon is a wonderful source of vitamin B-12, which aids in the synthesis of mood-altering brain chemicals that impacts your mood.
Dark leafy greens like spinach and chard can serve as a substantial mood booster. They are an excellent source of magnesium, which can improve serotonin levels and lift your spirits. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with a higher risk of anxiety and depression. Additionally, they are loaded with folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating happy hormones.
Beans and Lentils
Beat the blues with beans and lentils: they are full of feel-good nutrients. They pack a huge amount of B vitamins, which help improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters which are important for regulating mood, producing energy, and feeling positive.
These tiny seeds are not only a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they also contain a wealth of additional nutrients like protein, fibre, calcium and iron. But that’s not all – chia seeds contain a multitude of magnesium, nature’s relaxant mineral, that can help reduce mood disorders, stress and anxiety.
Eggs aren’t just delicious—they are also filled with mood boosters. Experts say that eggs contain sky-high levels of protein, Vitamin D and B12. They are rich in choline, a nutrient that improves mood and helps produce neurotransmitters, as well as the antioxidant selenium. If you’re feeling blue—or maybe just a little blah, eggs might just offer a nutritional tool to boost and stabilise your mood, tame stress, and ease your anxiety.
Go ahead! Indulge. Incorporate the above list into your day to harness the feel-good benefits. All these foods have the power to make you feel better and uplift your spirits. As an added benefit, they all taste wonderful, so you can enjoy a satisfying go-to snack and a mood boost all in one! Having said that, if you have a persistent mood disorder that interferes with your ability to function, don’t rely on food to improve your mood. Seek medical help from a professional. Keep in mind that mood disorders are more treatable now than ever before, thanks to progress in medications and counselling techniques.