Good eating produces good mood and good energy. Poor eating produces depression, agitation, irritability etc. Being in a downer mood is so energy zapping in my opinion. On the flipside feeling happy and at peace with ourselves is the way I think most of us would prefer to be.
Rather than reaching for a synthetic anti-depressant why not try to treat your blues with sound nutrition. Get away from the junk and start tickling your mood with healthy whole foods. That seems like a better approach to being cheery.
There are certain foods that have been studied and documented as mood enhancers and I would like to share these food here. Maybe you already indulge in these healthy mood promoters. If not, maybe you would like to start adding them to your healthy arsenal.
1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – You’ve no doubt heard or read about omega 3’s somewhere along your way. Studies show that people who ate the most fish were less likely to suffer any form of depression. Now that’s interesting. If you are vegan and don’t eat fish or are just avoiding fish because of all the potential toxicity in it due to pollution etc. there are other ways to get Omega 3 Fatty Acids into your body. Walnuts are a great source, as well as ground flax seed, chia seeds, flax oil and hemp seeds. These great nuts and seeds also provide good fiber to your diet and are good for your brain. Sprinkle chia, flax or hemp on salads or add it to your smoothies. Enjoy organic trail mix with added walnuts as a “happy snack”.
2. Fermented Foods – Sauerkraut and Kim Chi and good quality pickles are all good fermented foods to add to your diet. They are great mood foods as well as beneficial to your digestive health. They provide your digestion system with much needed beneficial bacteria. Have a tablespoon of fermented veggies before each meal and your tummy and parts further south will thank you. A smooth working body is a happy body.
3. Berries – Fresh berries are the elixir in my life. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t consume blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, goji berries etc. I love fresh berries and they love me. They do so much for my health and they will do so much for yours too. Berries contain powerful antioxidants which are the free radical fighters in your body. Berries are a great pick me up. The supply of antioxidants in the berries are definitely mood enhancers. Getting berries into your daily diet is simple by adding them to cereal, salads, smoothies and desserts.
4. Avocado – Yahoo…for avocados….a fatty food that is good for us. Humans are programmed to love fatty foods and eating too much of the bad fatty foods leads to health problems. The avocado is an excellent fatty food containing monounsaturated fats which are good serotonin boosters. Avocado is a wonderful natural source of B vitamins too. Add avocado to your salads, smoothies, desserts such as chocolate mousse or do what I do and eat the avocado right out of it’s skin. Yummy. Of course, guacamole is the avocado’s claim to fame. Now be mindful of how much avocado you eat in one meal….as it is still fattening….but it is a healthy fat and a good mood food.
5. Chocolate – Who doesn’t love chocolate? Most of us love this luscious treat. Chocolate is a very common ingredient in so many foods such as ice cream, cookies, snack foods etc. It is full of antioxidants which help your brain regulate mood. Chocolate is good for your cardiovascular system as well. You much be careful when choosing chocolate for health benefits. You need to buy good quality organic dark chocolate to get the benefits. A good quality chocolate is sweetened with coconut sugar or stevia, unlike regular chocolate bars which are processed to the point that all benefits are removed.
Now that’s a mighty fine short list of “good mood food”, a list that’s easy to make part of your regular nutrition roster.