It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find out that eating healthy is good for us. But did you know that there are foods that can improve your mood?
We often look for comfort when choosing our dishes, opting for warm and cozy stews and soups in winter and refreshing snacks in summer. Often times we feel sluggish and slow after overeating – especially junk food – but it’s time to abandon those bad habits.
So let’s get started! Here are some foods to help improve your mood.
Omega-3 fatty acids
A balanced diet is essential for a healthy body and a happy mood. Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced by our bodies, so it’s time to turn to food!
Some great sources are:
Serotonin is responsible for regulating brain function – including mood. These omega-3 rich foods help increase these important levels and help your brain release dopamine.
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Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter that is released during arousal or pleasure. Yes, including orgasms, ladies!
Chocolate in small, dark quantities is actually quite good for us. Dark chocolate – at least 70% cocoa – has excellent mood enhancing abilities. So always choose the good, rich stuff!
If you’re looking for some extra tryptophan that will increase those happy chemicals, adding some extra dark chocolate to your diet is a must. It also has the ability to improve reaction time, make you more awake, and increase blood flow to the brain. Clever stuff!
Also, dark chocolate can improve your sex life. Bonus.
Asparagus might not look like much, but these delicious green stalks actually pack a hefty punch! Incredibly common in plant-based diets, they are an excellent source of tryptophan – the key to increasing serotonin levels.
Serotonin is very important for a whole range of things, including brain health and mood. As well as appetite, memory, and sleep. If you enjoy catching these ZZZs, consider adding some asparagus to your diet.
Typically, those who feel anxious or are in a bad mood have low levels of serotonin. So if you’re not feeling whole, take the asparagus to your plate!
fruits and vegetables
We all know how important fruits and vegetables are for a healthy, balanced diet – but are you looking for the mood boosters among them? Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamin B. Studies have shown that it increases key happy chemicals.
To give you everything you need to know, read the following:
- B2 in foods like mushrooms and spinach
- B3 in the avocado
- B6 in bananas
- B9 in broccoli
Of all the vitamins Bs, B12 is one of the most important for serotonin production – it helps improve and regulate your mood. So ladies, bring those greens in!
Green tea or coffee
While your usual morning cup of coffee gets your day going, try green tea if you’re feeling a little sluggish.
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Not only is green tea your usual caffeinated coffee break, it’s also an incredible mood lift and pick-me-up! In addition, it offers numerous health benefits due to its antioxidants.
Don’t go overboard with the caffeine, however, as you could have a “crash” later in the day.
Coconut oil is a common ingredient in hair masks because of its moisturizing properties and is great for your hair, skin, and even your mood. As an MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, it offers a powerful source of energy that is used immediately – without being stored as fat.
Did you know that the scent of coconut oil is enough to improve your mood? Yes, the natural scent triggers a “fight or flight” reaction in stressful situations and gets our brain going.
So however you want to use it, get that gorgeous coconut scent going!
Quinoa is a wonderful food that will keep you feeling full longer. It’s a complex carbohydrate and a complete protein. Make it perfect as part of a balanced, healthy diet!
It also helps keep your blood sugar levels in check and avoid those mood and energy slumps. If you find yourself feeling hungry frequently, add some quinoa to your grocery list and kick the roadside urge for a snack. Oh, and did I mention it’s gluten free!
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Paired with tasty veggies, it makes for an easy meal that will give you the mood boost you need.
While we are commonly told that carbohydrates in the right amounts (and in the right form!) Are a no-go, they can be great for improving your mood and well-being.
I often forget about breakfast when you’re anything like me, but it really is the most important meal of the day. First, try a bowl of oats. Not only are they super filling, but they also set you up for the next day.
There are many complex carbohydrates that are slow to digest and super tasty. Try sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, and whole wheat pasta.