Need a boost?There is tons of research which suggest that some foods act as natural anti-depressants. Imagine that? Just by eating certain foods, you can be happier!
But before you reach for a tub of ice-cream, read on to see which foods you should eat and avoid when beating the blues, fight stress, fatigue, and more.
Dark Chocolate is popularly known as an aphrodisiac- it gives a feeling of euphoria when you eat it. It contains sugars that trigger the feel-good hormone serotonin. Chocolate also contains fats and phenyl ethylamine, which lead to endorphin release. Eating just a square or so of dark chocolate a day can boost your health, lower both your blood pressure and risk of stroke. Dark chocolate improves the blood-flow to the brain, and provides an instant boost in concentration and mood, which helps you to feel more energetic and vibrant.
Another reason it makes you so happy when eaten, is that Chocolate contains high quantities of phenols, antioxidants which boost mood levels, but beware- it also contains large amounts of fat and sugar, so don’t go overboard or you may gain weigh which won’t lead to happiness! Also due to the levels of sugar in chocolate, it increases blood sugar levels very quickly; causing an energy boost, but this is followed just as quickly by a slump. So try not to eat the entire box at once, or save it for when you really are feeling down in the dumps!
Nuts Eating just a handful of nuts will boost your mood because they are so rich in energy boosting vitamins and minerals.
Brazil nuts will make you smile because of their rich source of selenium.
Walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Studies have proven that people with lower levels of omega-3 in their blood are more likely to suffer from depression.
Pistachios contain fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, all of which have been linked to lower blood pressure. Just a cup full of these nuts can blunt effects of stress.
BerriesBlueberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain anthocyanidins and anthocyanins — nutrients that help reduce stress and depression
Bananas contain plenty of starchy carbohydrates which sustain your good mood. They are also rich in potassium, which is a vital mineral for nerve function and contain natural sugars which are released quickly into the bloodstream, making you feel energetic.
Grapes are high in endorphin-producing vitamin C and full of energy boosting natural sugars. They have a good nutritional value because they contain potassium, as well as poly-phenols, which are a powerful source of antioxidants. No wonder sick people are always given grapes -to cheer them up!
Oranges are another fruit high in endorphin-producing vitamin C which boosts energy levels and enhance a good mood.
Oatmeal is a good carbohydrate- great news! It is not fattening and when eaten, oatmeal provokes your body to sends an amino acid called tryptophan into the brain to trigger the manufacture of serotonin- the feel good hormone. Without carbs, your brain actually can’t produce serotonin. That may be why dieters who swear off starches tend to get angry, irritable, and depressed after just a few weeks (Some call it Atkins Attitude). So warm your heart with a bowl of oatmeal porridge!
Avocado is not only yummy, it is high in monounsaturated fat, potassium and serotonin which means that eating them not only make you feel good but they also lower high blood pressure.
Mussels have moderate to high amounts of Vitamin B12, Selenium, Iodine, protein, and Zinc, while being low in calories and fat. The Iodine helps to support the thyroid gland, which helps to regulate mood and weight; the Selenium and Zinc help the thyroid gland, as well. The Vitamin B12 helps to strengthen and insulate a person’s brain cells, which keeps the brain sharp over time.
Note: Be sure to eat farmed mussels rather than wild mussels, as this will not only benefit your health, but the health of the environment as well.
Spinach This leafy green is stocked with folic acid, a B vitamin that has been found to boost your mood. It’s also an antioxidant that works to protect your brain cells from free radicals, which can lead to low energy and mood swings.
Greek Yogurt contains probiotics that help boost your mood and immune system.
The large amounts of probiotics help a person’s brain by causing it to release happiness-inducing neurotransmitters. Greek yogurt also has more protein than regular yogurt, which makes weight-loss easier.
Asparagus has high levels of folate and tryptophan. Low levels of folate have been linked to depression in half of all cases of depression, according to recent research. Tryptophan is also used by the brain to make serotonin, which is one of the human brain’s main mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters.
Honey In regards to health, honey is far better than regular sugar. Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, which helps to prevent depression and keep your brain healthy by reducing inflammation. It’s a healthy alternative to regular sugar, as it has less of an impact on blood sugar levels and therefore won’t send your body into “fat-storage” mode.
Coconuts Despite the fact they are most commonly found in unhealthy desserts, coconuts do contain medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides are special fats that fuel better moods and promote general brain-health. Note: Coconut milk, on the other hand, is actually pretty unhealthy. Stick with unsweetened coconut shavings.
Salmon is packed with omega-3s, which help fight off depression and mood swings. Bonus– it can also improve your memory and focus.
Green Tea is full of thiamine, an antioxidant which acts as a calming agent.
Eat well and Be well!