Food to Help Improve your Mood
Are you feeling sluggish and irritable? Research has shown your cranky mood may be related to the foods you’ve been eating lately; signaling a change in your diet could be just what you need to boost your mood.
Nutritional deficiencies can directly affect your overall well-being and may contribute to negative feelings that may cause an irritable disposition. It’s important to note, however, continuing episodes of depression may signal a more serious condition that needs to be properly diagnosed and evaluated by your doctor.
What foods can help boost your mood?
Salmon and other fish such as sardines and mackerel are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which not only provide heart-healthy benefits to help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, but also aid in healthy brain function. In fact, studies have shown that there may be a link between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and an increase in depression.
Meat such as turkey and chicken contain high amounts of the amino acid, tryptophan, which is necessary to boost your levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a very important brain chemical, which can help regulate and increase your mood, alleviating stress, and irritability.
The healthy antioxidants found in sweet potatoes are just one of the amazing benefits of this nutritious food. Sweet potatoes can also boost your levels of serotonin, by stimulating the production of insulin, and tryptophan, the amino acid that helps to increase the serotonin levels.
Carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, absorb more slowly in the bloodstream keeping blood sugar levels more stable, which in turn can help regulate your mood to a more normal level.
A little indulgence in a few pieces of dark chocolate may actually improve your mood. The added plus to this mood boosting food is that many people who crave the taste of chocolate can now enjoy a little taste now and then. It’s important to remember that too much chocolate, however can pack on unwanted calories and fat. This food contains a compound known as phenylethylamine that can enhance mood, reduce stress, and help increase energy levels. Chocolate also stimulates the brain to release endorphins that boost serotonin levels which can help regulate mood.
• Soy products
Soybeans, tofu, and other soy products contain high levels of tryptophan, which can increase the amount of serotonin your brain produces. Higher levels of serotonin can help to increase your mood, regulate your sleep, and food cravings.
This dark green vegetable is packed with folate, which is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Studies have linked low levels of B vitamins to depression, which is why it’s so important to get sufficient amounts of B vitamins in your diet. B vitamins help the body’s brain to produce serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that affects a person’s mood and behavior, and adequate amounts can help boost mood levels.
This fruit is rich in magnesium which can help alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms, thereby acting as a natural mood booster. Other food sources rich in magnesium include beans, nuts, and green, leafy vegetables.
A healthy diet including any of these food sources may help lift your spirits, and fight off occasional bouts of stress and irritability.