There are many factors that can affect our mood, and diet is one of them. Research studies the relationship between diet and mood and shows that a lack of certain nutrients can promote depression. Believe it or not, there really are foods that will make you happy. They release certain chemical substances and create joy and excitement. Read on to discover our list of the best foods for a good mood.
Tryptophan foods for depression
Bananas are the serotonin stars among fruits. They eliminate depression and lift mood because they contain 18 milligrams of L-typtophan and 7.7 grams of serotonin. Bananas provide energy, minerals and vitamins.
Bananas seem to work best with other mood-boosting foods. For breakfast, you can make a healthy smoothie using bananas, blackberries, fortified soy milk, and a spoonful of peanut butter.
There’s a reason health-conscious people love lenses so much. Not only are they high in soluble fiber, protein, and folic acid, but they’re also particularly rich in good carbohydrates.
Eating seafood has several benefits. Sea creatures such as shrimp and oysters contain a mineral called selenium, which, together with vitamin E, removes toxins from the body and ensures healthy skin. Several studies have also shown that selenium deficiency can cause depression and anxiety in some people. If you are on a vegetarian diet, Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium for you.
Vitamin B6 – or pyridoxine – can promote the production of feel-good endorphins. This vitamin is found in a number of foods including salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
When we eat chocolate, our body releases endorphins. They are chemicals in the brain that can lift our spirits. However, be careful not to overeat sweet and greasy foods. It is not necessary to limit the consumption of these “feel good” foods.
Eggs are rich in protein, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin D – a nutrient that we primarily get from the sun and which is linked to mood. The egg yolk also contains the chemical choline, which is important for brain health, and tryptophan, which helps produce the happiness hormone serotonin.
Vitamin-rich foods that make you happy
The delicious blackberry is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, soluble fiber and folic acid. A lack of folic acid in the blood has been linked to depression. Scientists at Cardiff University have found that increasing your soluble fiber intake by up to 10 percent can prevent fatigue, suggesting a good mood during the day. They are also incredibly low in calories (only 43 kcal per 100 grams).
Sweet potatoes contain high levels of antioxidants, potassium, vitamins A and C, which work together to strengthen the immune system. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream and can potentially help regulate and keep your blood sugar levels constant, thereby helping you keep your high spirits constant.
Small but mighty! Sunflower seeds are stars when it comes to healthy eating. They are high in folic acid, soluble fiber, vitamin E and essential omega 3 and 6 fats, which are linked to the increased production of serotonin in the brain – the happiness hormone. Add sunflower seeds to your muesli and feel the difference!
Research has shown that spinach increases iron absorption and is good for the blood. The leafy green vegetables are also high in soluble fiber and magnesium – both of which are linked to mood. It has been suggested that magnesium deficiency can cause anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of stress.
If you’re trying to cut down on your caffeine intake and have a similar mood boost, try a steaming cup of nettle tea instead. The herbal infusion contains several immune system boosters such as flavonoids, minerals, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, calcium and malic acid, which ensure a beautiful complexion. Nothing complements a dazzling smile better than a radiant complexion, right? Nettle tea is also believed to lower blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and even relieve pain.
Buckwheat is a robust grain with many good properties. First, it’s high in B vitamins, which are linked to the production of serotonin in the brain. Second, buckwheat also contains the amino acid tryptophan – the vital protein needed to make serotonin in the brain.
What they DO NOT contain is the question here. Avocados are packed full of B vitamins (including B6), the amino acid tryptophan, vitamin E, and folic acid. And who doesn’t like avocados? Broccoli, spinach, peas, and whole grains are also good sources of folic acid.
Do you have trouble sleeping? One possible cause is that the levels of serotonin in your brain are lowered. When we go to bed at night, our bodies start producing a hormone called melatonin, which is important for deep and restful sleep. Tart cherries are an especially rich source of natural melatonin.
Chillies and spicy foods can put a smile on your face and boost your metabolism. This is because our bodies release endorphins when our pain receptors are stimulated. Endorphin production seems to vary between people, which could explain why some people like their foods very spicy and others don’t.
Did you know that the lack of vitamin C in your diet makes you feel depressed? This is because vitamin C is necessary for the composition of norepinephrine – a neurotransmitter that works on the sympathetic nerve and in the brain.
Like citrus fruits, pineapple is a healthy vitamin booster, and as an added bonus, you get enzymes that aid digestion and can help alleviate a bloated stomach.
Vitamin B6 and vitamin D are also found in milk. Milk is rich in proteins, vitamins, calcium and the amino acid tryptophan, all of which have a positive effect on the quality of sleep.
Whole grain bread
Whole grain bread offers the perfect combination of proteins, amino acids, and slowly digesting carbohydrates – all the nutrients your brain needs to function properly and produce hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
Finally, you need to be extra careful with how much water you are drinking. Studies have shown that drinking water has indirect effects on our mood. According to the researchers, dehydration is often linked to depression and feelings of anger.