8 Mood-Boosting Foods You Should Start Eating
Your mood is a product of many biological and environmental factors. How you feel during the day or generally in life may depend on your current mental wellbeing, but also external circumstances and events.
Mood fluctuations are natural and happen to everyone. On a bad day, the best thing to do is to wait it out or distract your brain by doing something fun or productive.
Your physical and mental health rely on taking care of yourself and eating clean, nutrient-rich foods.
Next time you feel stuck in a rut or need a little cheering up, a bite of dark chocolate might be the cure you need.
Curious to see what you should eat to lift your spirits? Read on to find out!
Goji berries are among the top superfoods in the world due to their high antioxidant content and a myriad of vitamins and minerals. This small, yet powerful fruit is native to China where it’s been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Goji berries are a natural source of healthy energy and can help regulate your mood, boost your immunity and sharpen your focus.
You can eat them dried or fresh, in trail mixes, baked goods and smoothie bowls.
Turmeric, dubbed the Golden Root of India and Southeast Asia, has powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reliving properties. It’s an important plant in alternative Ayurveda medicine used for health and healing.
Beside its many benefits to your physical health, turmeric can positively influence your mood and cognitive functions. Turmeric balances out your digestive system and fights inflammation in the gut, listed among the leading causes of depression.
Whenever you feel down, brew a cup of turmeric tea or try our organic Golden Root Turmeric Latte Mix.
Wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, both of which help simmer down inflammation in the body and support your nervous system. Low levels of these two nutrients can lead to mood swings or even the onset of depression.
To preserve all the nutrients in salmon, steam or roast it with a drizzle of olive oil, seasoning and vegetables of choice.
Many of us reach for chocolate when we don’t feel good emotionally and it seems to help instantly. This is because raw cacao is rich in L-tryptophan, an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin (the hormone of good mood).
Dark chocolate with higher cocoa percentage contains important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and can help prevent premature aging.
The main compound in raw cacao responsible for boosting your mood is phenethylamine that helps release endorphins in the brain. It’s also rich in anandamide and serotonin, neurotransmitters that contribute to good mood and feelings of happiness.
Take a bite of dark chocolate, a cup of hot cocoa or munch on raw cacao nibs for an extra dose of dietary fiber, magnesium, iron and antioxidants.
Quinoa is yet another superfood rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. It’s a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids) and a complex carbohydrate. This ancient seed can help maintain healthy gut flora and give the body long-lasting energy.
Quinoa can improve your mood by increasing the production of serotonin in your brain. It’s also rich in magnesium that can help relieve moodiness, stress, anxiety and irritability.
Add some quinoa to your meals, make a quinoa salad or add it to a smoothie any time you need to brighten up.
Avocado is becoming a staple in modern healthy diets, despite its high fat content. The nutrients present in the fruit categorize it as a superfood with high amounts of folic acid, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to these powerful mood-boosters, avocado can help balance out your hormones and brain chemistry. It also contains tyrosine – an amino acid that your body breaks down to dopamine (the hormone regulating pleasure, good mood and motivation).
Enjoy avocado in salads, sandwiches, dressings and smoothies. You can also make a raw cacao avocado mousse for double the benefits.
Your gut is populated with useful bacteria that keep the flora clean, healthy, and able to metabolize any food with ease. Factors like environmental pollution, eating processed foods and inactive lifestyle can cause a range of issues and disrupt the proper functioning of your digestive system.
Gut inflammation is one of the main biological causes of depression, anxiety and similar stress-triggered mental conditions. In order to maintain the level of healthy gut bacteria at an optimal level, you should be extremely careful about what you eat.
When the good bacteria in the gut are low or there’s inflammation, you need to use probiotics to balance everything out. Kefir can help.
This fermented dairy-based beverage contains a lot of gut-friendly strains of bacteria that can soothe and heal gut issues and ease inflammation.
Most of these bacteria have the ability to increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, leading to a better mood and less stress.
Valerian root is not a food item per se, but an herbal supplement that can help you relax and feel calmer.
It can relieve symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, stress and even digestive issues by soothing your nervous system.
The compounds in valerian root increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This important neurotransmitter acts as a mediator between your nervous system and your brain, transferring and filtering the messages between them.
If the levels of GABA are low, the nervous system becomes overly active, ultimately leading to an array of mental conditions, among which are anxiety and depression.
A cup of valerian root tea can do wonders whenever you’re sad, stressed or need a little pick-me-up.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOOD-BOOSTING FOODS?
Eating a balanced, healthy diet is the best thing you can do for your mental and physical well-being.
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Author Bio & Photo:
Frosina is a freelance writer for hire specializing in lifestyle, health and wellness topics. When she’s not busy writing about productivity tips and mindfulness, you can find her learning all about digital marketing and dreaming of Italy.