Good Mood Food? Experts Say These Six Treats Can Boost Your Happiness
If you are feeling a bit down, this article is for you. Emerging science indicates that certain foods can reduce stress and boost our moods.
While no single food is a miracle cure, a healthy diet containing these items and proper rest and exercise can work wonders in enhancing our overall well-being.
Here are six foods that are proven to improve mood and mental health.
1. Whole Grains
With their high fiber content and low glycemic index, grains are a powerful mood booster They slowly release sugar into the bloodstream, which balances blood sugar, leading to more stabilized, even moods. In addition, most high-quality whole grains, such as buckwheat and oats, are naturally rich in tryptophan. This amino acid creates feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin, which are crucial to improving mood, pleasure, and sleep.
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 key role in combatting oxidative stress, an imbalance of harmful compounds in the body. Blueberries are particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives them their deep purple-blue color. If you can’t find them fresh, buy frozen berries, which are frozen at their peak ripeness to retain the maximum amount of antioxidants.
3. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that must be obtained through food because our bodies can’t produce them. Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in two types of omega-3s — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — which have been linked to lower levels of depression. Most experts agree that adults should get at least 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily. Consume 4 ounces of salmon or tuna at least twice weekly to get enough of these healthy fats into your diet.
4. Nuts and Seeds
These are among Mother Nature's best mood boosters. They’re loaded with important minerals and vitamins that improve mood, such as selenium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, for example, are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fats and B vitamins. Brazil nuts are a great source of magnesium and zinc, both of which have anxiety-reducing effects. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are packed with magnesium and zinc, while chia seeds are another potent source of plant-based omega-3 fats.
This delicious tropical fruit is bursting with vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. One large banana provides 16 grams of sugar and 3.5 grams of fiber. When paired with fiber, sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream, stabilizing blood sugar levels and allowing for better mood control. Especially when their peel is a bit green, bananas are also an excellent source of prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds healthy bacteria in the gut. A robust gut microbiome is associated with lower rates of mood disorders.
6. Fermented Foods
Yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha may improve gut health and mood. The fermentation method used to create these foods allows live bacteria to thrive. During this process, probiotics are created. These microorganisms support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, increasing serotonin levels. Up to 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced by the collection of healthy bacteria that exists in the gut. Research has also shown that there is a connection between healthy gut bacteria and lower rates of depression. It’s important to note that not all fermented foods are significant sources of probiotics, including beer, wine, and certain breads, due to the cooking and filtering process.
Choosing the proper foods can have a huge impact on your mood. Try one or all of these healthy treats to help manage stress and boost your outlook. Your mind and body will thank you!
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