Reviewed By: Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu
Feeling stressed, blue or just a little bit blah? While it might be easier to indulge in sweets when you’re feeling down or upset, chances are these types of foods will only temporarily lift your mood. This is because what we eat plays a vital role in how we feel!
So, kickstart your feel-good hormones and add these mood-boosting foods to your next grocery list.
Oily fish like salmon contain Omega 3’s, which improve your mood by keeping the brain healthy, flexible and communicating properly. The body can’t produce Omega-3’s naturally, so we rely on our consumption of Omega-3 dense foods to keep these levels in check. People who are deficient in Omega-3 are more susceptible to depression and low mood.
Spinach is rich in a wide variety of nutrients. This includes vitamin B to boost serotonin levels and brain function, iron to produce energy, and magnesium, which helps to reduce anxiety. Due to its high levels of folate, filling up on spinach will also improve your motivation hormone levels, your attention and memory, and your sense of calm.
With more antioxidants than any other commercial fruit or vegetable, blueberries deliver a tonne of mood-boosting benefits. In particular, blueberries help regulate positive mood and decrease the risk of developing depression. Blueberries also help control stress hormones, limiting the effect of stress on your body, mind and mood.
Not strictly a food, but it’s too important not to include. Water is vital for our bodies to function properly and even the smallest degree of dehydration impairs our physical and mental wellbeing. When we’re dehydrated, our fatigue, anger, negative mindset and cognitive problems, like poor concentration, all increase. Drinking water will help alleviate these symptoms, whilst also having a significant impact on reducing anxiety and symptoms of poor sleep.
Walnuts are the perfect little good-mood food. They improve cognitive performance, regulate good emotions and encourage the body to produce more serotonin. Walnuts are a good source of folate, the deficiency of which is linked to depression. Walnuts also contain zinc, to combat mood swings and aggression.
Bananas contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals that, among enhancing mood and energy levels, improve sleeping patterns, improve good sleep and boost the bodies own natural production of serotonin.
Similar to Bananas, turkey helps to regulate sleep. Turkey also contains amino acids that reduce symptoms of depression, enhances your brain, mood and stress responses. It also aids in converting nutrients to Dopamine in the body, enhancing your sense of happiness and calm.
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