10 Secret mood boosting foods
Don’t let winter blues, the cold weather and the darker winter nights get you down, take a look at these foods that can help cheer you up. Some foods contain just the right minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that can have a positive effect on your mood and others are said to be so potent, that they can actually help in the fight against depression. Here are ten of those secret superfoods that you can add to your diet to boost your mood.
If you thought that chocolate was just an indulgent treat, you were wrong, because chocolate really does lift your mood. Eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate, releases endorphins into the body and it also boosts your levels of serotonin. That means that your anxiety and stress levels will fall and you will feel in a better mood for several hours after you have eaten some chocolate.
You can improve your mood with your choice of veggies too and asparagus is one of the best vegetables for its mood boosting properties. Asparagus is a good source of folic acid, a lack of which had been linked to depression, and it’s high in Vitamin C, which has also been shown to help ease depression.
You need omega-3 fatty acids to keep yourself in a good mood and salmon is a great source of those. Many studies have shown how effective omega-3 fatty acids are as a way of decreasing the effects of anxiety and depression, so fill up on salmon, or other oily fish like tuna, and it will lift you out of the blues.
The antioxidants that are found in berries will help your brain to function properly and boost your mood and eating berries will also help to produce the feel good enzymes in the body that will pick up your spirits. If that’s not enough to cheer you up, just remind yourself that eating berries will slow down the signs ageing and that will put a smile on your face!
Bananas are also included in our list of mood boosting foods. They are a great source of energy and they also contain tryptophan and Vitamin B6, which increase the serotonin levels in the body. Eating a nutritious banana will make you feel much more alert, it will improve your mood and it will help you sleep better at night. Bananas are often recommended as a food for people who suffer with anxiety, depression and insomnia.
6. Green Tea
The Chinese have been drinking green tea centuries, because they know all of the amazing health benefits that it contains. Green tea is a rich source of antioxidants and amino acids, as well as a compound called L-theanine, which is known to reduce stress and improve the mood. A cup of green tea a day could improve and boost your memory and lift your mood, not to mention its ability to help protect you against cancer too.
Of all the nuts, walnuts have the highest concentration of essential fatty acids that are known to improve the health of cells in the body. Eating walnuts can also help to reduce cholesterol and improve the blood circulation, which will also boot the mood, as more oxygen will be getting to the brain.
Coffee doesn’t always get a good press and too much caffeine is certainly not good for you, but it has been proven to be an effective way to boost the mood, especially for women. A study that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that women who drank at least three cups of coffee a day were 15% less likely to develop depression.
Yoghurt is a great source of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps with the production of the feel good hormone serotonin in the brain. Researchers at Toronto University also discovered that some yoghurt contains probiotic bacteria that actually reduce anxiety and make you feel calmer.
Researchers have also recently found that tomatoes have quite a remarkable ability to help to boost the mood. In a study that was carried out by the Tianjin Medical University in China, it was found that people who eat tomatoes more than twice a week were nearly 50% less likely to suffer from depression than those people who only eat tomatoes once a week. It is believed that an antioxidant found in tomatoes called lycopene is responsible for this effect of protecting against depression.
What are your favourite mood boosting foods?
Stay happy and healthy!