Our diet has a huge impact on our mood, emotions and behaviour. When you are feeling sad, angry or frustrated, do you find yourself reaching out for your comfort food? These foods as usually loaded with sugar are fatty or processed. Ss much as we love indulging in them, it often leaves us feeling sluggish and bloated. Try these 6 healthier options instead, not only do they boost your mood, they’re also packed with nutrients.
Boost your mood with these foods!
Commonly known as food for your brain, consuming seafood is an easy way to lift your mood. Shellfish like oysters and clams are packed with vitamin B12, an essential vitamin your body needs to produce dopamine and serotonin. Oysters, in particular, are rich in zinc. Low zinc levels are typically linked to anxiety.
Similarly, oily, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout are full of omega-3, a key mood-boosting nutrient. Omega-3 fatty acids alter your brain chemicals linked to mood, specifically dopamine and serotonin. Most of you would know that low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and anxiety. Dopamine, on the other hand, is a “reward” chemical the brain releases in response to a pleasurable experience.
Caffeine lovers rejoice! A Nurses’ Health study reported that a woman is 15% less likely to become depressed if they consume two or three cups of coffee a day. Caffeine increases dopamine and serotonin transmissions within just 30 minutes and increases mental focus and alertness. Here’s the catch: the less you consume, the better it works.
Since the majority of serotonin is produced in our gut, cultured dairy products promotes a healthy gut. Consuming yoghurt or kefir helps to enhance the population of healthy probiotic bacteria in your gut. Just make sure to choose yoghurt labeled with “contains live and active cultures”, to cultivate healthy bacteria you need for a positive mood.
Avocados are well-known for being packed with heart-healthy fats. Do you know that they are also known as a natural hormone balancer? Avocados ensure your brain is making the right chemicals needed to keep you happy. Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B6 and tryptophan have been linked to depression, but fret not, avocados contain plenty of all three.
As a complex carbohydrate and complete protein, quinoa helps keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady. This prevents blood sugar spikes, which can make you irritable and unfocused. A flavonoid found in quinoa, quercetin, has also been shown to have anti-depressant effects.
6. Leafy Green
Reach out for dark leafy greens like spinach, bok choy or kale daily. These vegetables are rich in folic acid, a nutrient that affects your brain’s neurotransmitters and alleviates depression or fatigue. Moreover, spinach comes packed with B vitamins which regulate serotonin production and repair tired muscles, perfect for everyone!
Happiness is just a mouthful away!
Now that you have heard about these natural mood boosters, head over to our outlets to eat yourself happy!
Eat Well & Be Well!