Mood Boosting Foods. Does Food Affect Your Mood?
by Mary James on Nov 08, 2023
Mood Boosting Foods. Does Food Affect Your Mood?
Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of exercise, being outside throughout the day, and spending time with pets. It also turns out that diet can have a significant influence on one's emotional state.
The items you put in your grocery cart and on your dinner plate will definitely play a role in helping you out, whether you're suffering from the winter blues or are stuck in a rut you can't seem to shake.
While no one food can cure depression, there are a number of foods that have been shown in studies to increase happiness. However, if you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, you should speak with a doctor.
The Science Behind Diet And Emotions
The strong bond between your brain and your gastrointestinal (GI) tract often referred to as your "second brain" explains the connection between nutrition and emotions.
This is how it operates: Billions of bacteria reside in your GI tract, influencing the synthesis of chemicals that are continuously sending messages from the stomach to the brain. Serotonin and dopamine are two typical instances of this.
Consuming foods high in nutrients encourages the development of "good" bacteria, which in turn influences the synthesis of these substances in a favourable way.
Your brain gets these encouraging signals loud and clear when productivity is at its best, and your emotional state might reflect that. However, if something goes wrong with the production, your mood might too.
It is believed that sugar in particular is the main contributor to inflammation. It feeds the "bad" bacteria in the GI tract. Inversely, it might also cause a momentary rise in feel-good chemicals like dopamine.
Maintaining a diet full of nutrient-dense foods will help you focus better and experience less mood swings. Research has even shown that eating a clean diet high in whole, unprocessed foods can help reduce feelings of anxiety and despair.
Top 6 Mood-Boosting Foods
A great breakfast option that is both easy and effective in elevating one's mood is oatmeal. Its ability to stabilise blood sugar levels is what affects your mood. Due to their low glycemic index, oats help to moderate blood sugar levels and minimise mood fluctuations by releasing energy gradually.
In addition, oatmeal has a high content of complex carbohydrates, which raise serotonin levels often referred to as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter by stimulating their creation. Your mood and sense of well-being can be improved with a serotonin surge.
Oatmeal also contains B vitamins, like folate and vitamin B6, which are important for mood management and brain function. Oats' fibre gives you a steady energy boost that keeps you focused and awake.
Warm oatmeal is a great way to start the day because it improves mood and cognitive performance. It's also a great option for a mind-boosting breakfast.
Bananas are a delicious and practical snack, but they can also improve your mood and mental health. These yellow superfoods are full of minerals that support healthy brain function and mood management.
First of all, tryptophan, an amino acid found in bananas, is transformed by the body into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood and encourages relaxation. Serotonin is frequently linked to a cheerful, stable mood.
Vitamin B6, which is necessary for the synthesis of numerous neurotransmitters in the brain, is also present in bananas. Dopamine and norepinephrine are two of these neurotransmitters that have an impact on mood and cognitive performance.
Bananas' natural sugars provide you with a rapid energy boost, and their high potassium level supports healthy brain function.
Including bananas in your diet can help you feel happier and more stable as well as improve your cognitive function. They're an easy and tasty method to boost your mental health, whether you eat them as a midday snack or slice them into your cereal in the morning.
Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are berries that are like mini superfoods for your mental and emotional health. Rich in vitamins, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, they have a host of positive effects on mood and cognition.
These colourful fruits have a lot of antioxidants, which help to improve cognitive performance by shielding brain cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. For instance, blueberries' anthocyanins have been connected to improved memory and general brain function.
Vitamin C, which is found in berries, helps lower stress and strengthen the immune system. Reduced cortisol levels, a hormone linked to stress, have been linked to vitamin C.
Their natural sugars provide you with a short energy boost, and the fibre keeps your blood sugar constant so you don't have mood swings. Including berries in your diet—whether as a snack, in yoghurt, or blended into smoothies—can make you feel better and sharper mentally.
The little legumes known as lentils, which are used in a wide variety of cuisines, are not only a very adaptable source of protein but also have a profound effect on your mood and mental clarity. Lentils, which are rich in B vitamins, iron, and folate, have a number of advantages for mental health.
Folate, sometimes referred to as vitamin B9, is essential for the synthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotional health, such as serotonin. Eating lentils can assist in preserving appropriate concentrations of these mood-regulating substances.
Iron is also abundant in lentils, and iron is necessary for delivering oxygen to the brain. Fatigue and cognitive impairment brought on by an iron shortage can have a detrimental impact on mood and focus.
Their slowly digesting carbs provide you with a consistent energy boost, balancing your blood sugar and reducing mood swings.
Including lentils in your diet in stews, salads, or soups can improve your mental health by promoting stability in your mood and improving your cognitive function.
There's a good reason why nuts like cashews, walnuts, and almonds are sometimes referred to as "brain food". These nutrient-dense powerhouses are full of vital nutrients that can improve your mood and cognitive performance.
First off, walnuts in particular are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids in nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve mood, lower inflammation, and boost brain health.
Magnesium, a mineral that aids in the regulation of neurotransmitters in the brain, is also abundant in nuts. For mood stability, neurotransmitter activity must be balanced.
Furthermore, nuts' high protein and fibre content sustains energy levels and reduces blood sugar spikes and crashes, which helps people stay focused and in a stable mood all day.
You can enhance your mood and cognitive function by including a handful of nuts in your diet as a snack or as a topping for salads and yoghurt.
6. Dark Chocolate
Loved by people all over the world, dark chocolate is more than just a guilty pleasure; it has a big impact on your mood and mental health. Flavonoids, strong antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain and support improved mood and cognitive function, are abundant in this delicious treat.
Theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant that can offer a slight energy boost and mental clarity without the jitters associated with caffeine, is one of the main ingredients in dark chocolate. Additionally, there is a trace amount of caffeine in dark chocolate, which helps increase focus and alertness.
Furthermore, endorphins, also known as the "feel-good" hormones, are known to be released in response to dark chocolate, which can result in a pleasurable experience and a stress reduction.
While moderation is essential, adding a small amount of dark chocolate to your diet can elevate your mood and even improve your cognitive function. It's a wonderful and fulfilling method to improve your mental health.
Keep in mind that no meal or food type is a remedy. If you believe you may be depressed, speak with your healthcare physician. But if the odd depressive episode takes over your life, consider what you've been eating and make these dietary adjustments.