There is a much deeper connection between food and mood than we actually know and the foods we choose have a major influence on our physical as well as mental health. There are certain foods that make us lethargic and sluggish, while there are other foods that help in fighting depression and anxiety. The key is to make the right choices. Mood lifting foods are those that positively affect the neurotransmitters of the brain that are responsible for mood shifts. Here we have listed a few healthy and natural mood enhancers food that make you feel less tense. These foods will eventually lift the mood and make you feel happy and energetic all throughout the day.
Essential Nutrients for Boosting Mood
Our mood is regulated and determined by our brains and including certain nutrients in the diet can help in cheering you up instantly. Here is a list of a few mood-enhancing nutrients:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
10 Best Food Based Mood Lifters
Feeling a bit low and depressed with constant work pressure, deadlines, and meetings? These foods can help your perk up your mood instantly, and the best thing is that unlike antidepressant drugs, they don’t have any side effects.
The list of food for depression and mood-boosting is incomplete without the inclusion of green tea. Green tea is a powerful source of antioxidants that signals the brain to promote the release of feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin that reduces depression and gives an instant mood lift. It helps in soothing and tranquilizing the brain. In addition, the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (ECGG) improves cardiac health by reducing cholesterol level in blood and preventing the growth of cancerous cells. It is best to have 2 to 3 cups of green tea every day in order to reap its amazing health benefits. Green tea is regarded as one of the best mood lifters among all the natural mood enhancers food.
Complex carbohydrates such as oats, whole grains, brown rice, and beans are effective mood-boosting foods that help in fighting depression, anger, and anxiety. With the intake of complex carbs, the insulin and albumin present in blood directs the tryptophan (an amino acid) towards the brain and this amino acid is essential for the creation of serotonin that helps in relaxing the brain and nerves and aids in promoting restful sleep that is effective in treating insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Therefore replace simple carbohydrates like white rice, white flour pasta and white bread with brown rice, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, etc. and see the difference in your mood.
Dark chocolate is one of the most effective mood lifters that almost all of us love to indulge in. Enjoying a piece of dark chocolate provides a sense of comfort and warmth, and the rich aroma of cacao relaxes the senses. A small cube of dark chocolate is effective enough to promote the release of endorphins that increases the secretion of serotonin. In addition, it also helps in decreasing the release of stress hormone cortisol even in stressful situations. Therefore, enjoy your favorite sweet treat without the pinch of guilt but be sure not to over eat because of its high-calorie content.
Oily and fatty fishes are one of the best mood enhancing foods that are a rich source of mood-enhancing nutrient Omega 3 Fatty Acids. DHA present in fish oil omega 3 fatty acids promotes the secretion of a corticotropin-releasing hormone that controls emotional impulses and helps in controlling anger and aggression and balancing the mood. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids are an effective nutrient for enhancing brain functions and improving cognitive performance. It works much better than antidepressant drugs that have innumerable side effects in the long run. Some the healthiest of cold water fishes rich in omega 3 fatty acids are salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines.
Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds are a rich source of vitamin E that has several health benefits. Foods to improve mood and prevent depression should include nuts because they are loaded with the mineral magnesium which plays an important role in improving the mood and promoting the feelings of happiness and well-being. Magnesium deficiency in the body leads to stress, chronic fatigue, irritability and reduced mental functions. The magnesium present in nuts promotes the release of serotonin and helps in regulating emotions. Therefore, replace unhealthy finger foods such as chips and French fries with a handful of roasted or raw nuts and give your body the much-needed dose of magnesium.
Substituting refined grains, desserts, fried foods and processed meats with fresh whole foods such as vegetables and fruits have been shown to enhance mood and brain functions in people. Brightly colored vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants that makes people more energetic and happier compared to those who eat more of processed and ready-to-eat foods. Dark leafy vegetables, grains, and beans are also rich in folate and vitamin B that affect the neurotransmitters responsible for determining moods. Therefore, make it a point to include 3 to 4 servings of fresh vegetables in your daily diet to stay healthy and perk up your mood.
Diet for depression and anxiety should include dairy products such as natural yogurt. Yogurt has numerous health benefits and is one of the best sources of calcium and vitamin D that not only play a pivotal role in improving bone strength and density but also helps to lift the mood by reducing the level of anxiety and stress. Foods containing calcium and vitamin D is extremely beneficial in treating PMS related mood swings and anxiety. In addition, yogurt is also an amazing natural probiotic food that helps in relieving digestive disorders and boosts the immune system. But it is best to opt for natural, unsweetened and unflavored ones to stay away from additives.
Lentils and beans are two of the healthiest foods that help anxiety relief and helps in boosting the mood instantly. Lentils are a powerful source of iron, the mineral that is vital for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Proper oxygen supply to the brain and other body parts helps in keeping the body charged and energized and prevents fatigue and depression. In addition, it also helps in preventing and treating anemia that mostly affect women during their childbearing age. Some of the healthiest lentils and beans include red lentils, Bengal gram, moong, soybeans, kidney beans, pinto beans and chickpeas.
Coconut and coconut oil has numerous health benefits. The refreshing aroma of coconut meat is an instant mood lifter that makes it a perfect natural food for fighting depression and anxiety. Coconut water is a rich source of potassium and is a natural isotonic drink rich in electrolytes. Kinetin present in coconut meat helps in keeping the skin youthful and glowing. Coconut meat is a rich source of protein and fiber that provides much-needed energy to the body and reduces feeling of lethargy and fatigue. The healthy fats present in coconut are also helpful for proper functioning of the immune and nervous system. Instead of caffeinated drinks, enjoy some fresh tender coconut water the next time you feel low.
This cheap yet nutritious food is often neglected by fitness enthusiasts because of its calorie content. Banana is one of the most important brain healthy foods that enhances brain functions and boosts the mood by improving tryptophan absorption in the brain. Bananas are loaded with potassium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin A, C and B6 and carbohydrates that are extremely beneficial for improving overall health. It also helps in promoting sleep by relieving insomnia, anxiety and depression. Potassium present in this fruit helps in improving energy levels and regularizing the transmission of nerve impulses.
Say goodbye to antidepressant drugs and lift your mood naturally with these healthy and tasty foods that show no side effects in the long run.
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