When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to turn to food to lift your spirits. However, the sugary, high calorie treats that many people resort to having negative consequences of their own.
While many of us reach for stodgy comfort foods when the blues kick in, snacking on mood-boosting superfoods will help to keep you healthier and happier too.
Here Are Superfoods To Boost Your Moods
Bananas are a good source of tryptophan, which can help to enhance your mood, aid relaxation and boost your confidence. They are also rich in magnesium, which can help you to relax, and vitamin B6, which can help to relieve depression.
Bananas are also high in carbohydrates, which stimulate the production of serotonin, helping you to feel happier.
9.Beans and lentils
In addition to being high in fibre and plant-based protein, beans and lentils are full of feel-good nutrients. They’re an excellent source of B vitamins, which help improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), all of which are important for regulating mood.
Furthermore, B vitamins play a crucial role in nerve signalling, which allows proper communication between nerve cells. Low levels of these vitamins, especially B12 and folate, have been linked to mood disorders, such as depression.
Coffee is the world’s most popular drink, and it may make the world a bit happier, too. The caffeine in coffee prevents a naturally occurring compound called adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, therefore increasing alertness and attention. Moreover, it increases the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
A study in 72 people found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee significantly improved mood compared with a placebo beverage, suggesting that coffee contains other compounds that influence climate.
7. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fibre. Additionally, they provide tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, as well as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources.
Moreover, nuts and seeds are a significant component of both the MIND and Mediterranean diets, which may support a healthy brain. Each of these diets promotes fresh, whole foods and limits your intake of processed items.
Curiously, eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression. Although the mechanism isn’t precise, a diet rich in antioxidants may help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders.
Berries pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a crucial role in combatting oxidative stress — an imbalance of harmful compounds in your body.
Oats are a whole grain that can keep you in good spirits all morning. You can enjoy them in many forms, such as overnight oats, oatmeal, muesli, and granola.
They’re an excellent source of fibre, providing 8 grams in a single raw cup (81 grams).
Fibre helps slow your digestion of carbs, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable.
Omega-3 fatty acids are high for our skin, heart and eye health, and research suggests they are equally beneficial for our mood.
A study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that participants who had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were more likely to be moderately depressed and have a negative outlook. Furthermore, a study has found surprisingly low rates of seasonal affective disorder in Icelanders, where the diet is high in omega-3 fatty fish.
3. Fermented foods
Fermented foods, which include kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, may improve gut health and mood. The fermentation process allows live bacteria to thrive in foods that are then able to convert sugars into alcohol and acids.
During this process, probiotics are created. These live microorganisms support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels.
2. Dark chocolate
Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds. Its sugar may improve mood since it’s a quick source of fuel for your brain.
Furthermore, it may release a cascade of feel-good compounds, such as caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine, a substance chemically similar to cannabinoids that have been linked to improved mood. However, some experts debate whether chocolate contains enough of these compounds to trigger a psychological response.
1. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own.
Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in two types of omega-3s docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — that are linked to lower levels of depression. Omega-3s contribute to the fluidity of your brain’s cell membrane and appear to play critical roles in brain development and cell signalling