Happy, angry, excited, frustrated and anxious are just some of the different moods and emotions we can have throughout the day. Some things in life bring us joy, others bring us much sadness.
But sometimes, for days on end, we feel quite down without even knowing why. Many things can affect our mood like a promotion at work, stubbing your toe, or even spilling your morning coffee on the drive in. As we interact with so many things and people around us, we can have a variety of mood changes even in one day. But there’s also another major factor that can fuel our mood, and it also fuels our bodies: Food.
Have you ever considered eating to improve mood? Well, food can play a large part in how we are feeling. There are foods to combat stress, foods dealing with sadness, foods to boost mood and even foods that help depression. You can actually eat yourself to a better, happier self. And who doesn’t enjoy eating? So if you’ve been down in the dumps lately and are looking for a diet to improve mood, look no further than these 7 items.
Foods that boost your mood
When it comes to eating to improve mood, a variety of food options are available making a diet to improve mood quite possible. Here are the best foods that improve your mood.
1. Tea: Tea has been a staple in many cultures for centuries. With so many varieties, it’s easy to find one to love. Tea is also a great food that boosts mood. The Journal of Nutrition noted that theanine – an amino acid found in most teas – works along with caffeine to promote alertness and improve focus. Furthermore, scientists at Unilever studied the effects of tea and concluded that drinking black tea could improve mood as well as enhance creative thinking.
2. Fish: Omega-3s, particularly found in fish, have been renowned for their ability to improve brain function. This also makes fish one of the best foods to improve mood. Omega-3s affect our dopamine and serotonin levels – hormones which makes us happy and relaxed. If you’re looking for foods to deal with depression, also look no further than fish. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatryreported that eating DHA and EPA – fatty acids found in fish – could help support health mood balance. These findings were again found in a Canadian study of individuals with mood issues who consumed EPA and DHA.
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3. Chocolate: Just looking at chocolate can excite people as it is a feel-good guilty pleasure for many. No need for guilt! But skip the milk chocolate kind as it’s not considered a food to boost mood. Choose darker the chocolate and eat happy.
The Nestle Research Center in Switzerland uncovered that enjoying a piece of dark chocolate every day was one of the top foods to combat stress. Dark chocolate, unlike milk or white chocolate, contains antioxidants. You only need about 1.4 ounces of the dark stuff to combat stress. So go ahead and indulge in a bite of dark chocolate a day; you can feel good about enjoying this treat as it’s part of the foods to combat stress.
4. Coconut: This tropical fruit is amazing as a food to boost mood. Also as a food to combat stress, similar to fish, coconut has the ability to lower blood pressure. When we become stressed or anxious, our blood pressure can go up.
In studies, participants who just smelled coconut had a reduction in their blood pressure. Its ability to reduce stress also makes coconuts great foods that deal with depression as well. Their scent is enticing and in turn elevates our mood. Maybe they remind you of a warmer, calmer place? Whatever the case, coconuts are definitely instant mood boosting foods.
5. Saffron: Why not spice up your diet to improve mood with some saffron? In traditional Persian medicine saffron has been noted as part of the foods to deal with depression. In small controlled trials, saffron performed well in treating mild to moderate depression. But keep in mind saffron does come at quite the price, so if you do plan on incorporating it within your diet to improve mood, use it sparingly!
6. Water: It may seem so simple because our bodies require water to function, but it goes beyond that as drinking plenty of water also improves our mood. When we are hydrated our body can function properly but even a small decrease in hydration – just 1 percent – can cause a big difference in our mood.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition observed how water intake could affect mood on 25 women. These women were either properly hydrated or mildly dehydrated, and their mood and cognitive abilities were then tested. On the mental tests, the hydrated women and dehydrated women performed about the same, but among the dehydrated group – they only had a decrease in hydration of 1 percent – they experienced headaches, fatigue and low mood.
When men were tested in the same manner, with results published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the men had greater difficulty performing the mental tests, and experienced greater anxiety and frustration. This just goes to show that drinking enough water is part of a diet to improve mood.
Sticking to the rule of eight glasses a day is a good option to stay hydrated. Even if you don’t necessarily feel thirsty, it’s important to keep hydrated. Remember even the slight decrease in hydration is enough to alter your mood. Takeaway: Your diet to improve mood should consist of plenty of water!
7. Carbohydrates: Most people are afraid of the word carbohydrates, or carbs, because they believe they will
cause weight gain. Although this may be true if consumed in high quantities or if overly processed, carbs don’t have to be the enemy and are great foods when dealing with sadness. Stick with whole wheat or whole grain carbs that have not been processed.
In a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers followed participants for a year who consumed a low-carb diet. These individuals experienced more cases of depression, anxiety and anger in comparison to an alternative group which enjoy a low-fat, high-carb diet. Researchers concluded that carbs can promote serotonin, and that an ongoing a low-carb diet could negatively impact mood. So make sure your diet to improve mood does contain carbohydrates; just ensure they are the healthy kind!
Diet for boosting our mood
These 7 foods are a great way to put together a diet to improve mood. By including these foods to improve mood in your everyday life, you can achieve mood-boosting benefits and feel like a better you. There are many factors that can impact our mood, but by enjoying some of the best foods to improve mood, you don’t have to continue to feel down in the dumps any longer.
These foods that deal with depression, to combat stress, and help deal with sadness are natural ways you can feel better and start enjoying life again. And what brings us more pleasure than food?
Sharing a meal with friends and family is also a great way to give your mood an added boost. By cooking up some of these healthy items, you can share the wealth of mood-boosting foods – and reap the benefits – with the ones you love.
Originally Published: http://www.belmarrahealth.com/7-foods-to-boost-your-mood-naturally/