If you’re feeling down in the dumps, it might be time to give your diet a mood check! Our moods can be dependent on several factors, including your environment, development and even the foods you eat.
Read on to find out which foods can promote a better mood.
Let’s talk brain food: Our brains love it when we consume omega 3 fatty acids. They’re needed to build brain and nerve cells, which are essential for learning and memory. Studies have shown a link between a healthy functioning brain and reduced levels of depression. You can find omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and anchovies along with nuts and oils like walnuts and canola oil.
Gut power and probiotics: Guts are a wonderful thing and do a lot more than we give them credit for! Our healthy gut bacteria produce hundreds of neurochemicals which the brain then uses to regulate learning, memory and mood. Guts are also responsible for 95% of the body’s serotonin, which affects our mood by increasing happy feelings (yay!). Probiotics are essential for overall gut health, to help support these processes and good moods. Foods with a good source of probiotics include some yogurts, buttermilk and tempeh.
Boost your mood with whole grains: Whole grains are filled with various nutrients and can provide long term sustenance for maintaining energy and mood. The two important vitamins which whole grains contain are B6 and B12, both of which are responsible in producing serotonin and dopamine. Great sources of whole grains include oats, quinoa, brown rice and amaranth.
Load up on the green leafy veggies: Research has found that individuals with low levels of folate are often associated with depression. A folate deficiency can impair levels of serotonin and dopamine, both of which are important factors contributing to a good mood. To increase folate, consider adding spinach, edamame, lentils and broccoli to your diet.
Vitamin sunshine: To help improve your mood, it might be time to enjoy some sunshine! Our bodies naturally create vitamin D when exposed to UVB rays. Research has found a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults. However, if you prefer to steer clear of the sun, there’s foods with Vitamin D too including cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms.
Good luck with increasing your serotonin levels! Maybe you’ll find a new food you love on the way!