Food can positively or negatively affect your mood, not because eating anything you like can make you happy, but technically, because 90 percent of neurotransmitter serotonin is located in your gut.
So, whether you eat healthy or not can affect not only your physical body but also how you feel. Your eating habits also have an impact, which is why you should only eat what your body needs and not binge, you should not skip meals, and you should be aware of what foods to avoid.
Generally, it is advised to avoid eating processed foods and those that are rich in sugars and additives, like canned goods, soda, fast food, etc.
There are lots of foods that can help boost your mood. Here’s a quick list of what you can add to your shopping list to get started with eating healthy, mood-boosting foods:
Avocado has been touted as a superfood because of the wide range of benefits it offers. It is good for the heart and digestion. And it can make people happy. It contains healthy fats and helps balance hormones to ensure that your body produces the right amount of essential chemicals to make you feel good. It is rich in Vitamin B6, fiber, Vitamin E and Vitamin C.
People who include avocados in their regular diet say that they sleep better at night, feel less fatigued and have more energy throughout the day. What’s more, there are many ways to enjoy avocados. You can eat it as it is or add it to salads or sandwiches.
Nuts are rich in serotonin, antioxidants and healthy fats, which is why it can boost your mood. Brazil nuts, for example, is high in the mineral selenium, a low level of which is linked to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and tiredness. Almonds are rich in protein, magnesium, fiber and Vitamin E, and are known to help improve cognition and memory by protecting the brain from free radicals.
You can have nuts as a mid-morning snack, make your own almond milk, or sprinkle them into salads. Just be mindful of how much you eat-a handful is usually enough-as nuts are also high in fat and calories.
Bananas are a convenient snack that are a good source of fiber, magnesium and Vitamin B6. The vitamin B6 in bananas helps your body’s natural production of serotonin and dopamine.
With the release of serotonin and dopamine, your body feels calmer and more relaxed. Bananas are also rich in Vitamin A, C, potassium, phosphorous, carbohydrate and iron. You can eat a banana on its own, add it to a smoothie or chop on top of your breakfast. There are many ways to eat a banana in your day.
Salmon, mackerel, and sardines, all foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are mood-boosters. These fatty acids keep your brain healthy and help your neurotransmitters work more effectively to keep your mood regulated. These types of foods are also rich in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D that help in the production of neurotransmitters.
Plus, the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish is linked to reduced depression symptoms. Stir fry salmon with vegetables, make a sardine hash with veggies, or add mackerel into your sandwiches.
You need to avoid excess sweets, but you don’t totally need to get rid of chocolates. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can reduce stress levels.
It also has phenylethylamine that boosts endorphins, and anandamide, which can block the feeling of sadness and pain, albeit temporarily. Dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium and iron that can make you feel relaxed. Eating a couple of small squares of dark chocolate is plenty. There is no need to overindulge.
These foods are easily accessible in most grocery stores. You don’t need to go to a lot of trouble to locate any of these foods, so start eating foods that can boost your mood today.