Of course we eat for nourishment and to benefit our fitness goals, but have you ever stopped to examine what your diet is doing for your mood? This week's Self-Care Saturday is all about highlighting foods that have been linked to boosting your mood. These foods can be incorporated into your diet gradually by beginning with snacks and moving to larger portions, such as swapping your dinner protein for a fatty fish as you'll learn about below.
There are several foods that have been linked to boosting mood, including:
Dark chocolate: Eating dark chocolate has been shown to increase the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that promote feelings of pleasure and happiness.
Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, which can help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining good mental health. In particular, foods like spinach, avocados, and bananas are high in nutrients that are important for regulating mood.
Probiotics: Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the gut and can help improve mood by reducing inflammation and promoting healthy digestion. Foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi are all good sources of probiotics.
- Coffee: The caffeine in coffee prevents a naturally occurring compound called adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, therefore increasing alertness and attention.
- Beans & Lentils:They’re an excellent source of B vitamins, which help improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), all of which are important for regulating mood.
- Oats:They’re an excellent source of fiber, providing 8 grams in a single raw cup. Fiber helps slow your digestion of carbs, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable.
LuxeLifestyle Suggestion: Host a potluck with close friends, highlighting dishes using these "Happy Foods" in each dish! Invite your friends to be creative with their recipes and have a night of good mood food and fun!
Not a cook but want to add more Happy Foods to your diet? Try meal prep from our catering partner: Purposely Prepared! P2 provides nutritious and creative meal prep for clients in the Metro Detroit Area. To get started, visit www.purposelyprepared.com for more information!
It's important to note that while these foods may help improve mood, they should not be used as a substitute for professional treatment if you are experiencing significant mood changes or symptoms of depression or anxiety. If you are concerned about your mental health, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider.