More and more evidence is suggesting that you can literally eat your way to a happy day 🙂 .
Your diet can alter your metabolism and brain chemistry affecting your energy level and your mood. In this article you can read what food you should consume to boost your mood and reduce the likeliness of developing depression.
- Omega 3
Omega 3 acids are full with benefits, they can improve concentration levels and help you to maintain a healthy state of mind. You should consume a small amount daily to reap the benefits. Sources of omega 3 are oily fish such as: herring, salmon, mackerel and halibut, and flax seeds, nuts, walnuts, and dark leafy greens.
- Vitamin C
VItamin C boosts the production of serotonin also known as the happy hormone. In order to consume enough Vitamin C you should eat: kiwifruits, oranges, strawberries, red pepper, guavas, sweet potatoes, spinach, grapefruits and peas.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is great for your skin. It has high levels of antioxidants but also is a great mood booster. In fact if you have low levels of vitamin E you can face anxiety and depression. So if you have been feeling down lately you should increase your intake of this vitamin. It is consisted in olive oil, oats, eggs, seeds, nuts and chickpeas.
- Folic Acid
If your body is deficient in folic acid than you are more likely to develop depression, so you better start cooking spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, collards or chard.
- Vitamin B12
This Vitamin is also known as anti-stess vitamin. When the body isn’t getting enough of it it can result in feeling lethargic and with lack of motivation. You should up your intake of shellfish, meat, sea food, milk and eggs.
Tryptophan is not a common word so it is normal if you hear it for the first time. It is a amino acid, this acid together with phenylalanine and leucine – also amino acids, increase the levels of seratonin, meaning the feelings of happiness. Foods rich with it : Dates, papaya, banana and dark chocolate.
Our brain adores selenium, studies have shown that low intake of selenium is associated with poor mood, so it is important to incorporate it. Foods rich in selenium: Brazil nuts, seeds, seafood, fish, whole grains, pork, chicken, turkey, lean, lamb, brown rice, oatmeal, eggs, pinto beans and mushrooms.
If you have a diet low in zinc it can contribute to depressed feelings, so get happy by upping your intake of : cashew nuts, seafood, pumpkin seeds, pork loin and dark chocolate.
- Complex carbohydrates and whole grains
Whole grains in complex carbs are full of heart healthy nutrients ( high in fiber, vitamins and amino acids). They are great way to boost your mood and help fight depression, you can upper your intake by eating: brown rice, whole pasta, whole grain bread and whole grain cereal.
Protein foods help to build a muscle, therefore they are popular with athletes, but another reason is that they are rich in amino acid called tyrosine. It has been proven that tyrosine helps to increase the levels of brain chemicals that help you feel alert and energetic. Protein ensures a better mood, so feel free to cosume: Beans poultry, nuts and seeds, eggs, fish, lean beef and diary products.
Antioxidants are fabulous as they eliminate damaging molecules (free radicals) from our bodies. Free radicals can affect the brain, but consuming plenty of foods rich in antioxidants is the best way to reduces the chances of free radicals running riot in your body. Foods rich in antioxidants:Nuts, seeds, green tea, spinach, kale, broccoli, berries, kiwifruits, tomatoes, dark chocolate, oranges and peppers.
- Vitamin D
According to a 2010 national study, it is more likely to suffer from depression if your body is deficient in vitamin D. So you should go outside and catch some sunshine. The sun is a natural source of vitamin D. It is enough to spend 10 to 15 minutes outside, tanning and it provides 100% of daily intake of vitamin D.Those with dark skin need 5 to 10 minutes more. However if the weather is cold than you need to boost it trough your diet supplements. A small amount comes from a food me eat such as : Fish, egg yolks, diary products, cereals and grain products.
Everyone should drink water around 2 liters a day. Dehydration is associated with low mood and so increasing the water intake is essential.
Food that should be avoided:
- caffeine If you drink a lot of it, coffee and tea can increase levels of anxity and makes you feel depressed.
- shugar excess shugar consumption can inflamate the gut, body and brain, wih causes immune chain reaction responsee that results with depression and anxiety.
- alcohol affects the chemicals in the brain, if you consume it over a long period of time it can cause anxiousness and anger.
Healthy eating tips to improve your mood
Eat little and often
In order to keep your energy levels up, it is important to eat little and often. You should also include snacks between meals – a healthy ones, for example nuts,almonds or walnuts.
A nutritious breakfast should set you off on the right track for the day ahead. You should try to drink a glass of warm water with lemon, than a bowl of oatmeal with water or milk topped with sliced banana, chopped nuts and a drizzle of raw honey. Wash that down with a homemade green juice or smoothie and you will be good to go!