Many of us feel down sometimes, and we tend to focus on external events as the cause.
Often though — it’s really our bodies that are the problem!
It makes sense because our brains are a part of our bodies, and thus affected by our general health.
So taking time to treat your body in a healthy way can do wonders for your thinking, energy — and yes your mood!
Some foods are especially good for boosting your mood. In this article we look at 6 key ones.
Foods to Boost Your Mood
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.Virginia Woolf
Salmon is delicious and good for your health. And with its omega 3, it can also improve your mood.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce depression and increase positive mood.
Other omega 3 rich foods that will also benefit your mood: Oysters, Mackerel, Walnuts and Flax seeds.
Bananas are a great snack and have many benefits — one of which is improving your mood.
It appears the reason that bananas have a positive effect on mood is that it contains tryptophan — which helps the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a key chemical in the brain, which among other roles, helps regulate your moods. Lack of serotonin is associated with depression.
Bananas also contain vitamin B-6 which also helps produce serotonin as well as reducing stress levels.
Plus bananas are delicious and fun to eat, which helps relax you — without the junk food guilt!
Nuts are another food that is fun to eat, and healthy as well. Like bananas, nuts have B6 and tryptophan to help produce serotonin in the brain.
Almonds, walnuts, peanuts and cashews are a few great examples.
Nuts have been shown scientifically to help reduce depression.
It’s well known that eating chocolate gives us a mood boost. In fact, just thinking about eating chocolate can do this.
Dark chocolate is especially good for mood, and general health. It contains tryptophan that as we said helps produce serotonin in the brain.
Dark chocolate also produces endorphins, which is what is produced by exercise. Endorphins help to give you a general feeling of well-being.
Make sure you eat chocolate in moderation though or the excessive sugar you consume can cause the opposite effect. We all remember some experience where we have eaten too much chocolate and regretted it!
There has been a lot of evidence lately that gut health affects your brain function including your mood. Yogurt, as well as other fermented foods contain live cultures of good bacteria that is beneficial to your gut.
So kill two birds with one stone, and have a healthy gut and mood!
Although spinach is usually associated with getting stronger (thanks to Popeye) — it actually is better at raising your mood!
Spinach contains folic acid, which a lack of has been associated with depression by a 2003 study in the Journal of Nutrition.
Spinach also has antioxidants, and magnesium, other nutrients that have been shown to help regulate your mood.
Beans are rich in B vitamins which are very beneficial to generating feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine in your brain.
Beans also contain other nutrients like magnesium and zinc which will likely also help your mood. Reference this study.
Your diet does have a significant effect on your mood. In addition to the feel-good foods here, just eating a generally healthy diet and exercising will go a long way toward improving your positive outlook on life, even through difficult circumstances.