Different foods are stimulating different parts of the brain, releasing chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which promote good mood. On the other hand, the lack of some amino acids can cause mood swings or even depression.
So how should you change your diet if you want to improve your mood? You’ll find a couple of suggestions below. Try to apply as many as possible to your life, because they will not only affect your mood, but they also offer a lot of health benefits as well.
First off here are some foods and drinks that will put you in a bad mood.
Although alcohol can briefly produce a pleasant and relaxed state of the mind, drink too much and (we probably don’t need to tell you this) you’ll feel irritable, moody and anxious tomorrow.
You need to avoid sugary foods that give you an instant energy kick, because this will be followed by a sudden energy crash. With that energy decline your mood will go down also and you’ll find yourself reaching for a biscuit or an ice cream again, continuing the vicious cycle.
With that said here are the foods you need to go to when you feel down or depressed.
Dark chocolate is healthy because it increases blood flow to both the heart and the brain, thus improving cognitive function.
This sweet pleasure contains several beneficial substances that have a positive effect on the mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine – the chemical that the brain produces when we are in love. Phenylethylamine causes the brain to release endorphins (the hormones of joy), so eating dark chocolate makes us happier.
Also, dark chocolate is extremely rich antioxidants. They help the body get rid of the free radicals that damage and oxidize the cells. Free radicals are responsible for the aging of the body and can cause cancer, so eating foods rich in antioxidants such as black chocolate protects us from many diseases and slows down the signs of aging.
Oily fish eliminates sadness due to its high content of omega 3 fatty acids, which are one of the major factors for brain health and mood regulation. Other sources of omega 3 fatty acids are linseed oil and olive oil.
The vitamin B6 contained in bananas stimulates the action of serotonin – the so-called “Hormone of happiness”. It has a beneficial effect on the central nervous system. It improves our mood and helps us to overcome stress. If you want to learn more about the benefits from bananas see this article.
Even slight dehydration can lead to mood swings and our ability to think. There is hardly a person who is not complaining about chronic fatigue, no matter how much time he spends working. If you are feeling like that, then you are likely to be one of those who do not drink enough water. As stated above, if the body is not hydrated, its functions are less effective.
The truth is that no vitamins and or pills will help you against fatigue if it is due to dehydration. Keep that in mind and try to increase your daily water intake. For men the recommended daily quantity is 3.7 liters (about 125 ounces) and for women it is 2.7 liters (about 91 ounces).
The avocado contains valuable fats that improve mood and enhance the feeling of happiness. Avocado has many valuable substances. It is rich in vitamin B and K and is an excellent source of vitamin E that protect us against many diseases and helps for good health.
Avocado consumption reduces cholesterol levels, because the fruit contains beta-sitosterol, which helps to reduce cholesterol levels by limiting the amount of cholesterol that is entering the body. With avocados, you can get much of your daily dose of folic acid. Good intake of this acid is very beneficial to the heart.
According to studies, certain foods are more easily absorbed by the body if they are taken with avocado. So add the avocado into the daily menu – you can add it to salads, make a vegetable sandwich with it or just eat it with a spoon to make yourself feel happier.
If you are following a diet, you must also include the spinach. This vegetable is rich in magnesium. When your body is deficient in magnesium, it may cause you to feel tired and easily irritable.
Spinach is also rich in essential vitamins A, B and C and is a good source of iron and protein. In addition to giving you energy, a number of scientific studies have proven that spinach can help weight loss and reduce appetite for sweet treats.
These small purple fruits owe their color to a compound called anthocyanin, which is a natural mood enhancer. Blueberries are rich in water and fiber, which will further improve the fat burning process in your body. For all the health benefits of blueberries click here.
Regular physical exercises can seriously help to relieve states such as anxiety and depression, as well as overall mood improvement. While exercising, there are a number of things that improve our mood and reduce stress levels:
- Motion drives our brain to release the chemicals that make us feel good – like endorphins and endocannabinoids.
- The temperature of our body increases, which relieves stress.
- Exercising reduces levels of chemicals from the immune system that can worsen depression.
- Exercises can be a good socializing factor for people who feel isolated or raise our own confidence by setting and achieving fitness goals.
What you need to remember:
Studies show a link between good mood and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, tryptophan, folic acid and other B vitamins. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and complex carbohydrates, as well as a sufficient amount of water leads to a positive change in the mental state by increasing mood and feeling of happiness.