5 Best Foods for a Better Mood

Is your diet related to your mood? Yes! Food and mood have a pretty straightforward link, as serotonin is made from an amino acid, tryptophan, along with other nutrients such as vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid.

So if serotonin = good mood, and serotonin is = amino acid+ tryptophan+B6+B12+folic acid, you don’t have to be a scientist to figure out that what you need is something which have these, and of course, it can be found in certain foods for a better mood!

1. Oatmeal

Eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains, oatmeal or brown rice. The connection between carbohydrates and mood is all about tryptophan, a nonessential amino acid. As more tryptophan enters the brain, more serotonin is synthesized in the brain, and mood tends to improve. Complex carbs are also considered to be our most valuable energy nutrient.

2. Wild Salmon

Studies have shown that Omega-3 acids may be a natural antidepressant. One study found that a group of pregnant women taking 3.4 grams of omega-3s per day had significantly fewer depressive symptoms than those taking a placebo. A review of 10 clinical trials also showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms among subjects taking omega-3s. This makes sense physiologically, since omega-3s appear to affect neurotransmitter pathways in the brain.

Where to find Omega-3 acids? The best food sources are fatty fish such as wild salmon, herring, and sardines. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of omega-3. Don’t like these? Consider fish-oil supplement.

P.S. Salmon is a natural source of Vitamin D – another mood booster.

P.S.#2 farmed Salmon can pose cancer risks, so choose only Wild Salmon. You could try canned salmon, since almost all of them are wild salmon

3. Breakfast Cereals with Milk

Recent studies found that vitamin D may increase the levels of serotonin, one of the key neurotransmitters influencing our mood, and that it may help to relieve mood disorders. It also may help alleviate seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which leaves us feeling anxious, fatigued, and blue during the dark days of winter. Unfortunately, we get vitamin D mainly through exposure to sunlight (that’s why people suffer from SAD) and in lesser amounts, through food. Very few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, so much vitamin D intake in the industrialized world is from fortified products.

Where to find Vitamin D? Usually supplements are recommend since Vitamin D is hard to come by in food form. A natural source can be found in breakfast cereals with milk or salmon. Whole grain cereal are also a naturally rich source of thiamin, which serves an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and metabolizing carbohydrates. And the best part is that Vitamin D also reduce the risk of osteoporosis, various cancers, and autoimmune diseases.

4. Bananas

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND many people suffering from depression felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin. But that is not everything! It also regulates your blood glucose levels with the B6 and smooth your mood naturally. Bananas can also relieve symptoms of PMS because of the Vitamin B6. Moreover, bananas are filled with so many nutrients, that they are almost the perfect cure for whatever ails you! Compared to an apple, the potassium-rich banana has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.

P.S. Did you know that the word banana is derived from the Arab word “banan,” which means finger?

5. Dark Chocolate

According to magazine Kaboose – you can call it the ultimate comfort food. A lot of studies found that chocolate has an ability to improve a negative mood. You wonder how? Chocolate has the optimal combination of sweet flavor and creamy texture to cause a very effective release of endorphins (mood-elevating hormones). It also has caffeine, although less than coffee, another mild stimulate and diuretic called theobromine, substance that is a building block of the neurotransmitter that produces pleasure. Moreover, cocoa and dark chocolate contain significant amounts of antioxidant flavanols, which improve blood flow in the brain. And the best part is that a dark chocolate is so sweet and tasty, that it is a pleasure to include it in your diet.

P.S. you shouldn’t replace your balanced meals with dark chocolate as chocolate chocolate has a lot of calories without a lot of nutrients. Eat chocolate in moderation and choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate as it contain more antioxidants.

Final Thoughts

Of course, our state of mood is so complex and influenced by so many things that we can’t count solely on the foods we eat. But when you feel a bit depressed and blue the easiest thing to fix is your diet. And personally, I often find that all I need when I feel bad is just a warm and tasty meal. Ok, I feel a bit tired of writing, I’m going to grab some bananas to lift my mood!

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