Lift your mood by eating the right food

Depression, stress, and anxiety are common problems that people face these days at an increasing rate. What you eat may not cause any of them, but it can increase their severity. On one side, eating low-quality foods affects our physical and mental health. On the other side, many foods can boost our mood and help us deal better with the problems we’re facing daily.

Cooked salmon

What nutrients are better for an excellent mood?

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that our body cannot synthesize therefore the only way to get them is from our diet. Research studies revealed that omega-3 fats have an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and also in fighting depression.

Some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are several species of fish, such as herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon, and tuna. You can also get it from walnuts, flax and flaxseed oil, olive oil and kiwi, or several varieties of omega-3 enriched foods such as dairy and eggs.

Spinach

Folic acid (vitamin B9) and other types of vitamin B have an important contribution to the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter also known as the happiness molecule that is commonly known to boost our mood and help us deal with stress better. Serotonin levels in the brain cannot be measured, but the one in the blood (which can be measured) was found to be lower in people who suffer from depression.

Natural sources of folic acid are leafy greens (like spinach, asparagus, and lettuce), eggs, beans, peas, lentils, turkey, tuna and liver. You should also be aware of the fact that alcohol consumption causes a deficit of B vitamins in your body.

Serotonin is biochemically derived from tryptophan, an amino acid commonly found in high-protein foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, soybeans, seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin), but also fruits like bananas, papayas and dates.

Bananas

Magnesium deficiency can increase anxiety and cause insomnia. To go the other way around, stress can deplete magnesium stored in the body. It’s a vicious circle. Moreover, studies made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that more than 50% of Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diet.

Some of the most popular foods rich in magnesium include bananas, cocoa powder & dark chocolate, whole wheat flour, oats, beans, tofu, and spinach. A large variety of seeds also contain high levels of magnesium, like almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts & peanut butter.

When facing mood swings, depression, anxiety or stress, the first question you must ask yourself is what causes them. Lack of a specific nutrient usually derived from a poor diet can be problematic if you can’t find an obvious cause. While the foods listed above cannot make your boss nicer or pay your loan, when included in a healthy meal plan, they can provide your body the resources it needs to deal with problems. Regular physical exercise also provides multiple benefits, among which is maintaining and improving mental health so be sure to work out regularly.

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