Are you looking for food for good mood, hoping to find a magical diet that will cure your bad mood? It is very likely that diet does not exist, otherwise, we would get rid of stress, anxiety and depressive thoughts forever. But our brains are wired in a certain way, in which the foods we eat can boost the production of aggression and depression causing neurotransmitters. According to experts and nutritionists, there are certain foods that improve brain function, boost your moods and enhance your concentration, focus and ability to comprehend and remember facts and details. Let’s see, which foods are mood boosting foods, and check out the foods that cause irritability, depression, and aggression.
Mood Boosting Foods List
When it comes to specific mood boosting foods, they are not an urban myth. Some foods do make you irritable, rush your blood pressure and sugar up and down on a rollercoaster, which signals the brain a bunch of mixed messages. So let’s fill in your grocery list with some mood enhancing foods:
Fruits and Vegetables
The British Journal of Health Psychology, published a study where almost 300 people improved their mood, felt happier and more energetic just by implementing more fruits and veggies in their diets, for 3 weeks in a row. They testified that they not only feel better during the hours after eating healthy produce, but the following days also. Cross studies conducted on the same notion of mood boosting foods came up with the same results. The reason is very simple. Plants are full of vitamins, which are directly connected with the production of the neurotransmitters that make you feel good, optimistic, content and full of life.
Oats have a low glycaemic index, which is great if you want to stay slim and feel full for longer. If you don’t like your oatmeal, try making cookies, bars and mix them in your morning smoothie.
Oily fish is maybe the best choice, in case your family is not very fond of veggies and oats. Certain types of fish, like sardines, salmon and mackerel are loaded with omega – 3 fatty acids. These acids are not produced by our bodies, so we need to make sure we supply it through the foods eat. They are responsible for cell health and healthy brain function.
Lentils are excellent brain food. They are extremely rich in folate, iron and zinc. Deficiency in these nutrients is linked with depression, mania, sleeping disorders and other health issues regulated by the production of hormones in the brain.
Especially, turkey and chicken. These types of meat are high in the tryptophan amino acid, which is used by the brain to produce serotonin, the feel good hormone.
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts have high mineral content, which is important for the way our body absorbs the nutrients, and how they are being transmitted to their rightful place in the body. Among other benefits.
Not all chocolate is healthy. Read the contents and make sure there’s at least 80% of cocoa in your dark chocolate bar. Dark chocolate will help your brain release endorphins, so you can feel good as well as keep your heart healthy, up and running perfectly. Keep your intake limited to 1/3 of the bar a day, for best results.
Mood Boosting Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin B – B12, Folate – spinach, beans, beef, poultry, salmon
Selenium – beans, legumes, dairy, nuts and seeds, seafood, lean meat
Omega 3 fatty acids – herring, rainbow trout, sardines, salmon, tuna, animal kidneys and hearts
Vitamin D – beef liver, egg yolks, fatty fish, cottage cheese, raw milk, sunlight
Mood Boosting Foods – Where to Start
We all know kids are crankier when they are hungry, and this is true for adults too. The stress caused in the body by an empty or dysfunctional gastrointestinal system is way greater that you’d imagine. When the stomach is empty, other than growling and pain, your body needs to deal with other aspects. When you’re hungry, the brain can’t produce happy hormones like serotonin, which are excreted when you’re full, and especially when you eat sugar. Instead, it produces stress hormones, which in turn, lower your mood, make you cranky, tired and irritable.
But sugar is not the answer. At least not in the long run. In fact, the foods that contain high amounts of sugar are so addictive because your body gets a quick, but temporary high after eating it. Many people feel bad after the sugar high wanes, because the hormonal levels go back to normal, the serotonin and other mood boosting hormones are not being produced, so you start feeling sad, bad and a little guilty. This bodily process pushes many people into emotional overeating, which is another temporary high.
The feeling of hunger is a result of the interactions that happen between the digestive system and the brain. Doctors and scientist call the interaction between the brain and the gut – the Gut-Brain Axis. Whenever you feel hunger, your brain starts to produce stress hormones, which lower your mood. Healthy eating habits and eating regimes can easily correct your mood. The trick is to give your stomach something to work with, so it doesn’t start shooting impulses to the brain. Another trick is to fill your digestive system with foods with low glycaemic index, like vegetables, nuts and beans. These foods release energy slowly, unlike white flour and sugar, which release energy quickly, but leave you feeling empty even faster.