Improve your mood – with healthy food!
If you’ve ever smiled blissfully when offered a bite of delectable chocolate or a nice and crispy french fry, then you know that food can make you happy. Your favorite food may give you a brief emotional lift, but only a diet that provides consistent supply of nutritious foods can give you the long-term mood lifting benefits. Researchers are taking a closer look at how food can affect our mood and cognitive function, and they are finding that what we eat does make a difference.
Feeling tired, grumpy, or irritable? Try eating more of these 10 foods to improve your mood.
Most berries can have a positive impact on mood. Blueberries, for example, contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help your body deal with stress more efficiently. Studies have found that blueberries and strawberries, in particular, protect blood vessels in the brain from inflammation, helping to keep you sharp. These fruits contain the plant nutrients (known as flavonoids) anthocyanins, which act like little soldiers in your body, protecting cells from an onslaught of free radicals.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens aren’t just pretty. Foods like spinach or kale contain folate, which can make you feel happy. In addition, a 2017 study found that eating 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day led to less moodiness.
“Most fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which can help reduce age-related inflammation, a condition that can be harmful to mental health. And deficiencies in B vitamins, such as folic acid [vitamin B9], influence mood regulation and have also been associated with depression.”
You’re not just hormonal when you reach for the chocolate. Small amounts of dark chocolate can actually lower stress-causing hormones like cortisol. Other benefits? Lower blood pressure, less fatigue, and even better circulation. The reason? Probably the antioxidants, magnesium, and other good stuff found in this delectable, mood boosting treat.
Selenium, a mineral that improves mood, is abundant in nuts like almonds. Nuts are healthy foods densely packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats — just keep track of calories, which can add up quickly.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven by researchers at Ohio State University to reduce stress. What type of food has lots of these fatty acids? Fish like salmon, which also come with lots of Vitamin D that increases levels of serotonin.
Seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are rich in mood boosting magnesium. Research backs up these claims, showing that seeds can counteract depression and fatigue, and even symptoms of PMS like irritability and cramps.
The amino acid theanine found in green tea can reduce anxiety. Green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine, which a 2008 study in Nutrition Bulletin found can improve your mood, cognitive function and physical performance. As tea contains less caffeine than does coffee, with the L-teanine, it promotes a state of calm awareness.
A UCLA study conducted in 2013 with 36 women found that yogurt with probiotics reduced brain activity in areas that handled emotion. What does that mean? Possibly less stress. Yogurt (and milk) contains the amino acid tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin and therefore has a calming effect on your body.
The meat contains tryptophan, which builds up serotonin (you know, the amino acid that makes you sleepy after a good meal) and can help you control hunger and improve happiness.
The fiber and complex carbs in oatmeal improves the amount of serotonin in the brain, meaning you feel better.
VIVA EVE may improve your mood, too.
If your fibroids or adenomyosis symptoms are ruining your mood, the doctors at VIVA EVE can help. We’re committed to providing high-quality, personalized care for each and every patient we see. We will partner with you to determine the best way to treat your problematic symptoms.