Did you know there was such a thing? Apparently what we eat says a lot about our mood!
When your feeling down you may turn to “junk foods” or foods high in sugar or high in calories. Right! Why do we do that? To try and lift our spirits, unfortunately mood can be influenced by many factors including stress, environment, poor sleep, genetics, mood disorders or even nutritional deficiencies. Did you know there are foods out there that can improve overall brain health and even some mood disorders. Lets check them out!
- Salmon is a fatty fish and so its rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies need and only get through diet. Salmon may lower risks of depression.
- Dark chocolate has mood boosting compounds that may increase feel-good chemicals to your brain.
- Fermented foods contain probiotics that help our gut. Kiamichi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut may improve gut and mood. Why are probiotics essential you ask – because the live microorganisms support growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and have the potential to increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood, stress response and appetite (super important).
- Bananas are high in vitamin B6 which help synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Bananas contain a natural sugar along with prebiotic fiber that can keep your blood sugar levels and mood in check.
- Oats contain fiber, which in turn helps slow your digestion of carbs allowing the gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to help keep energy levels stable. Oats are also high in iron, so if you have an iron deficiency or anemia this food could help.
- Berries are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants which can help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders.
- Nuts and seeds are high in tryptophan, zinc and selenium which may support brain function and lower the risk of depression.
- Coffee (YESSSS!) contains caffeine and chlorogenic acid which may boost your mood.
- Beans and lentils are high in fiber and plant based protein and are definitely filled with feel-good nutrients. Beans and lentils contain mood boosting nutrients including vitamin B.
So what does this all mean? When your feeling down or depressed and reach for that candy bar or bowl of ice cream it may feel good in that moment, but unlikely to help you long-term. I challenge you to try some of the foods above to help put a positive spin on not feeling so good and see what happens.
Have a positive and happy Tuesday!
Drop some ideas on blogs in the comments. Will be posting recipes that include these foods above soon!