Feeling meh? We all have days like that, when we feel there’s a grey cloud over our head and we don’t know why. Your diet could partly be at fault for your unstable mood. This could be one of the reasons there are more people getting depressed today – there’s unhealthy food now more than ever! A research recently carried out asserts that food containing the right nutrients does more than make you healthy and strong, it also makes you smily and jumpy. It could tame stress, combat depression, ease anxiety and improve your mood. Awesome, right? You thought you needed anti-depressants. Here’s how the study went :
Seventy people were grouped into two. These people were people who were depressed and didn’t have a great diet plan. One group was placed simply on healthy diet without therapy of any kind. Yes, they didn’t have to talk to a shrink or meet with a support group, they simply ate right. The other group met with a support group often but stayed on foods like sweets, salty snacks and processed meat. They were kept this way for three months and monitored closely. In those months, the group that were placed on healthy food showed less signs of depression, some of them eventually were no longer clinically considered depressed. The second group showed did not record progress as much as the first group.
I bet you’re curious about these said mood-boosting foods. Below are the foods that boost your mood
What are The Foods That Boost Mood?
Bananas are the typical happy food. They’re rich in amino acid tryptophan, phosphorus, fibre, potassium, iron, carbohydrate, vitamins A, B6 and C. Carbohydrates boost the mood by absorbing tryptophan in the brain, which is then converted by Vitamin B6 into serotonin, a hormone that helps improve the mood. With the mood boosted, stress is eased and sleep is easier. The tryptophan found in banana is often used for conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia. Simply eat one banana everyday at mid-morning or eat with breakfast, whichever works for you is fine.
Oh, no doubt chocolate does make us happy! What better news than to learn that even science says so? Chocolate contains powerful compounds like phenylethylamine and ananadamide. Phenylethylamine boosts endorphins and serotonin levels . Ananadamide is usually referred to as “the bliss chemicals“. Chocolate has been confirmed as good for improving cognition and mood. It’s also rich in antioxidants, magnesium and iron which reduces stress levels and causes us to rest. The way you eat chocolate actually contributes to its effect on you. It is suggested according to studies that eating chocolate mindfully is the ideal way, so don’t go ravaging it quickly, take your time to savour each bite. Try not to gobble up so much chocolate though, you simply need a few dark chocolate squares.
3. Blue berries
Blue berries possess one of the highest antioxidant contents among many other fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are a kind of antioxidant contained in the blue berries that could help protect brain aging, improve memory and especially regulate your mood, and that’s not all. A study carried out with animals showed that blue berries are even instrumental in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) and other mental problems.
4. Yoghurt and Other Probiotics
Doesn’t yoghurt just seem to scream “your gut!“ ? .Yoghurt, along with other fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are wonderful for gut as they keep the bacteria in there in check. Studies have sensed a link between balanced gut bacteria and lower risk of depression, improved mood, less anxiety and stress. Infact, a study found that individuals who ate probiotics were eased of their stress and anxiety and their depression levels dropped, this worked for some and didn’t work for others, however. This link between the gut and mood makes sense as serotonin is majorly produced in the gut, what better way to improve its production than help balance the gut health? Even though these studies are not completely certain for sure, it’s a certainty that a fresh cup of yoghurt would not harm your moods but might even help. Besides the likely boost probiotics might have on the mood, it also improves the immunity of the body.
Our dear almonds are nuts rich in protein, magnesium, vitamin E and fibre. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that could damage the brain. It’s also able to boost cognition and memory. You could have almonds as a snack, or you could try them as almond milk, almond pulp, a granola or a trail mix. Sweet nuts plus good mood equals bliss!
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain nutrients like vitamin B complex, fibre and Vitamin C. These nutrients aid in boosting the moods. You can eat sweet potatoes in lots of different ways, with cinnamon, as chips, with salads, with nut butter, beans, ground meat, coconut oil, in stews or soups.
Eggs contain vitamin B12, Vitamin D and protein. They have choline too, which is good for the nervous system and for the mood. They’re also rich in antioxidants like selenium which help to keep the brain preserved and protected from oxidative damage. With the protection of the brain come the boosting and protection of our mood. Eggs are one of the easiest and time saving foods to eat, this probably also improves the mood of many people. You could eat boiled eggs as a snack. You also could have them scrambled with vegetables or have them as omelettes. Poached eggs are also a good choice and you could have them with avocado. Baking is another option as they’re used to bake lots of foods and snacks. Salad together with boiled or poached egg is also a good one. In all, there are lots of ways to have your eggs. You could have fun while trying out new ways to eat eggs. Another way your mood is boosted, no?
8. Chicken and Turkey
Yum! Chicken and turkey is loved my almost everyone. The breasts of both increase tryptophan intake which is used to produce serotonin. Melatonin is also produced in the process, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. So eating chicken and turkey could help you sleep better. Thought as much right? Lean poultry also contain tyrosine which is known to help reduce depression symptoms and even prevent the bad moods. Tyrosine contributes to the production of adrenaline. Studies prove that low levels of said adrenaline is associated with depression. Fortunately, you can have as much of chicken and turkey as you want without worrying about over doing. You could have them alone, or in pies, with veggies, in soups and in stews.
The beautiful part about nature is that is solves all our problems, sometimes even better than pills. It is certainly a good thing that we can feel better with certain foods. Moreover, avoid too much of caffeine, alcohol and sugar, as these give a temporary good feeling and send your mood in a downward spiral later.