February 1, 2012 in Healthy Eating
Did you know the foods you eat can have a profound effect on your mood? Science has shown that certain foods can produce a positive effect on a person’s mood. In a recent issue of Organic Gardening they list 11 foods that boost your mood. Now these aren’t some weird foods you’d never eat. These are delicious foods you might already include in your diet, or you can start to incorporate them when you need a lift. So many of us depend on sugary treats when we’re feeling down, but sugar actually makes us feel worse. Why not give these foods a try and see for yourself if they do indeed lift your mood.
Mussels contain vitamin B-12 and trace elements such as iodine, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin B-12 helps support the myelin sheath in your brain which insulates your brain cells, and the trace minerals help to support your thyroid. The thyroid gland regulates many of your body’s functions including mood.
Swiss chard is a tasty dark green leafy vegetable loaded with magnesium. Magnesium supports the biochemical reactions in your brain. It also boosts energy levels and studies are being conducted about its link with relieving depression.
Blue potatoes may look strange, but they taste just like regular potatoes and are high in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins protect brain cells and help to reduce inflammation in your body. Try to find organic blue potatoes so you can eat the skins where most of the nutrients reside.
Grass fed lamb has a good fat, conjugated linoleic acid, which protect the brain from stress hormones and helps to reduce inflammation. It also has a high concentration of heme iron (the kind your body absorbs the best) which is a mood boosting mineral.
Dark chocolate is my favorite type of chocolate and is the best for boosting your mood. It improves blood flow to your brain and the Journal of Psychopharmacology recently published a study stating it only takes a few ounces of dark chocolate to boost your mood.
Organic Greek yogurt has more calcium than regular yogurt or milk. Calcium helps your body release the neurotransmitters that lift your mood. Dr. Ramsey, author of The Happiness Diet, explains if your body is low on calcium you can experience anxiety, irritability, slow thinking, impaired memory and depression.
The remaining five foods recommended by Organic Gardening include the following:
- Asparagus – high in tryptophan a precursor to serotonin, the feel good hormone.
- Honey – reduces inflammation, boosts immunity and is loaded with antioxidants.
- Cherry tomatoes – higher in lycopene than their larger counterparts since you eat the skin. Lycopene protects the brain and helps to prevent inflammation in the body.
- Pasture eggs – from free range chickens contain a higher concentration of nutrients including zinc, B vitamins, iodide, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these are mood boosters.
- Lemon macaroons – made with three simple ingredients and no sugar are a sweet treat loaded with antioxidants and mood boosting coconut.
If you notice, most of these foods help to reduce or prevent inflammation in the body. Inflammation is thought to contribute to depression. So next time you’re feeling down, try one or more of these foods. They’re all delicious and good for you.