Our brain cells depend on certain nutrients and when we don’t get them we don’t function as well. The foods we choose to eat are incredibly important to our brain health and mood.
Here are 5 mood boosting foods to make you happier!
The foods we choose to eat are incredibly important to our brain health and mood.
Food impacts your mental health and needs to be part of the equation when you choose what to eat.
We’ve become so dependent on meds to help boost our mood when really you don’t need to look any further than your kitchen.
Our brain cells depend on certain nutrients and when we don’t get them we don’t function as well.
There have been many studies that have demonstrated that a good quality diet is important for prevention of mental disorders.
For example one study investigated whether a Mediterranean-style diet (MedDiet) supplemented with fish oil can improve mental health in adults suffering from depression. They found that the MedDiet group had greater reduction in depression and improved mental health scores (1).
This is just one of many studies that are beginning to show that healthy dietary changes can improve mental health in people with depression and help to boost your mood.
So what can you eat to help give your mood a boost?
Here are the 5 foods you should be adding to your diet daily to boost your mood…
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5 Mood Boosting Foods
Mood Boosting Food #1 | Avocado
This has to be one of my favourite mood boosting foods. Did you you know that avocados are a fruit? A single seeded berry actually. (2) Avocado benefits are far-reaching, particularly in the brain department. Avocados are natural hormone balancers, ensuring your brain is making the right chemicals needed for keep it feeling great and happy. They help with healthy blood flow which means a healthy brain.
Avocados have a high quantity of monounsaturated fats, which is also found in olive oil.
Monounsaturated help your brain produce of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for focus, energy and memory. In addition to being a mood boosting food, avocados are also a nutrient booster that helps your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins. They’re also a great source of other mood boosting vitamins your brain needs like C, E, K, as well as B vitamins. More on that here.
If I had to recommend just one food to eat to feel happier, this would be it, the mood-boosting avocado. It’s the No. 1 food to eat to feel happier.
Try this mood booster: Roasted Fruit and Veggie Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Mood Boosting Food #2 | Sweet Potatoes
Stress and depression burns out the B Vitamins in your body, Vitamin B6 in particular helps manufacture neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which aids in the body’s ability to cope with depression, stress and anxiety. You can also get mood boosting B Vitamins in bananas, cauliflower, garlic, and cashews
Try this mood booster: Sweet Potato Carrot Lentil Soup
Mood Boosting Food #3 | Nuts
These bite-sized foods are loaded with health benefits that will leave you smiling. Nuts are full of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that’s in short supply when you’re depressed or feeling blue. Nuts are also full of antioxidants and healthy fats as well as Vitamin E. I’m a fan of walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews — just be sure to be mindful of how many you eat. While they are healthy, nuts are also high in fat and calories, so a handful or two is usually the right amount.
Try this mood booster: Easy Peasy Homemade Almond Milk
Mood Boosting Food #4 |Salmon
Wild-caught salmon is one of the best foods for both your mood and brain health for several reasons. It contains double your recommended value of vitamin B12. Getting enough of B12 is crucial to warding off depression and staying mentally healthy. Salmon also packs a punch of mood-stabilizing essential fatty acids like Omega 3s.
Omega 3s are a brain essential fat and helps to support the structural health of your brain. In fact the areas of the world that report the lowest rates of depression and mood disorders [ie postpartum, bipolar] eat the most fish. In a study with six thousand participants researchers found that people who consumed low quantities of omega 3s had a 70 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s that those who consumed more omega 3s
Try this mood booster: Sesame Ginger Salmon in my Eat Cheap Live Good Guide! It’s perfect if you’re looking for quick, easy healthy meal solutions. You’ll also have lots of meals that will keep you powered up, energized and that will age proof your brain.
Mood Boosting Food #5 | Chia Seeds
Speaking of Omega 3s that brings me to mood boosting food #5 Chia seeds. Our brains are rich in fat, so it should be no surprise that not getting sufficient dietary fat can negatively impact this organ. Chia seeds contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide anti-inflammatory benefits to the brain, resulting in less stress and anxiety and they’re also great for boosting energy.
Research show that people diagnosed with depression tend to have lower levels of omega 3s in their blood (3). Plus they’re are a great source of the stress busting ingredient magnesium. More on the benefits of magnesium + a mood boosting soup here.
Try this mood booster: Blueberry Coconut Chia Seed Parfait
Which of of these mood boosting foods will you add more of to the menu?