Oranges, lime, and banana in the shape of a smile

Enhance Your Mood By Eating These Good Foods!

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By Melody Gluth

 

The food we eat effects our bodies in many ways including the way we think and the way that we cope with stress. Many scientific studies prove that the food we eat also leads to changes in our moods. There are many reasons for this, including changes in blood sugar levels, alterations in brain chemicals (serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine to name a few), enzyme deficiency, reactions to preservatives in food, unknown food sensitivity or allergies, and many others.

A study done by the University of Otago found that when young adults ate more fruit and vegetables, they felt calmer, happier, and more energetic in their daily life. Higher fruit and vegetable consumption led to the participants reporting a more positive mood. Further analysis showed that young adults would need to eat about seven to eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day in order to notice a positive change in mood.

This information should not come as a big surprise, but it further proves the importance of eating well and maintaining a healthy diet. Listed below are some foods that you can look to in order to help improve your mood.

Fruits and Vegetables

As discussed above, eating fruits and vegetables can have a positive impact on mood. We can boost our serotonin levels by eliminating the refined sugars that are found in processed food. Instead, we should add the healthy nutrients and natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables to our diets.

Dark Chocolate

No, this is not a trick. Eating dark chocolate actually contains a psychoactive chemical, called anandamide, that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. In addition, chocolate also contains other chemicals that prolong the “feel good” aspects of anandamide. A daily helping of dark chocolate could improve mood and help lower the of developing a mood disorder. For all the chocoholics out there, this may come as good news.

Bananas

Bananas are rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B6. These vitamins help to soothe the nervous system. Bananas also contain magnesium and potassium, which are nutrients that are associated with a more positive mood. Another compound that bananas contain is tryptophan, which aids good mood by producing serotonin.

 Eggs

Eggs are very nutritious and packed with many essential nutrients. They can also serve as a feasible treatment for depressive symptoms. Eggs have minerals in them that can serve as mood boosters. They are natural and unprocessed, which means they do not contain ingredients such as refined sugar, high levels of sodium, or chemical additives and preservatives. In addition, eggs are a ‘comfort food’. Some people may feel better or more relaxed when eating eggs prepared in their favorite way.

 Turmeric (Curcumin)

Curcumin is the pigment in turmeric that gives it that distinctive yellow-orange color. It has been found to have medicinal effects, such as fighting inflammation and helping relieve pain. It also has neuroprotective properties that may enhance mood and help with depression.

 Coffee

Who here doesn’t love a fresh cup of coffee in the morning? In addition to waking you up, it may also play a role in improving your mood. Drinking coffee can affect the number of neurotransmitters that are related to mood control. Coffee also contains caffeine, which has stimulant effects that enhance alertness, vigilance, and reaction time. However, caffeine can increase anxiety in certain individuals, so it may be best to only drink a little at a time.

 Omega-3 Fats

Many fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, halibut, and other seafood. These fatty acids have been found to treat certain mood disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, attention deficit disorder, and schizophrenia. The omega-3 fat eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been found to play a role in emotional well-being. EPA can reduce inflammatory processes in the brain when combined with DHA. DHA can enter brain cells and improve the relay or signaling between brain chemicals.

 

It is important to keep in mind that every person reacts differently to various foods. In order to stay healthy, listen to your body. It may be trying to tell you something. Try keeping a journal, writing down everything that you eat. If you notice a pattern in mental and emotional health, you may be able to connect what foods you should eat more of and what you should

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