5 Foods That Boost Your Mood and Give You a Natural High

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Foods that boost your mood – are they real?

Foods that boost your mood

Foods that boost your mood – a natural high?

Can food really do that?

Could make you feel happier, and enjoy life more?

Would you change your diet just a little to include some of these powerful foods?

If you’re keen to know which foods will help, continue reading. They’re a lot more common than you’d think!

Everything you put into your body has a positive or negative effect.

Food is as necessary to your existence as air, providing the building blocks you need to build and renew cells.

Food provides the nutrients you need to build your immunity and fight disease. What you eat also affects your mood and specific foods can leave you feeling energized and happier.

Conversely, eating the wrong foods can leave you feeling unhappy and negative.

Foods that can give you a bad mood include;

  • alcohol
  • sugar
  • sodas
  • canned foods
  • foods made from refined flours.

But chocolate is okay, right?

Chocolate boosts your mood

I know what you’re thinking, “I got this… chocolate”, or whatever it is that you love to eat.

It makes me happy…

That’s definitely one of those foods that boost your mood, right?

It might give you a nice short-term boost, but if it goes against your goals long term, it’s just going to make you feel bad. Eating chocolate is not bad, in small amounts, and eaten as a rare treat, it is fine.

Moderation is always the key.

Eating the right foods regularly will help to regulate your mood.

Below are five great foods to boost your mood.

Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 - Food that can boost your mood

Foods like salmon, mackerel, oysters, anchovies, flax seeds, and others are high in omega 3 fatty acids.

These foods have been shown to improve your mood.

Scientists found that people who live in nations that consume a lot of fatty fish are less prone to depression. This is largely due to the presence of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

Omega 3 fatty acids can help to improve mood by working on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates levels of anxiety, happiness and other moods in the brain.

Omega 3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory effects. This in turn has been shown to improve the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

In other words, it may work to balance the chemicals in the brain.

The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 3.5 oz (100 grams) of oily fish.

Further, ensure that your fish comes from safe sources to avoid mercury and other heavy metal poisons. Oily fish that are low in mercury include; salmon, Atlantic mackerel, pilchards, and herring.

Oats can boost your mood

Oats can improve your mood

Oats and other fiber-rich foods can help to regulate mood and prevent depression.

They work by releasing sugars into your blood slowly and keeping your mood regulated for longer.

The opposite are foods that give you an instant rush. These will then cause you to crash leaving you feeling irritable and fatigued.

Oats also contain an amino acid known as tryptophan which the body converts into the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. 

Enjoy your oats in porridge combined with bananas or dried fruits and other fiber-rich foods for optimal mood regulation.

Probiotics – food that can boost your mood

Probiotic yoghurt for improved mood

Probiotics are live microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria which are beneficial for gut health.

They work by replenishing depleted levels of bacteria in your gut.

This balances the levels of good and bad microorganisms for optimal gut health. 

Probiotics are found mainly in fermented foods including yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, kombucha, buttermilk, and others. 

Probiotics have been shown to have mental health benefits.

Studies have linked poor gut health with an increased propensity for depression and anxiety disorders.

Studies have shown that subjects who take milk containing probiotics twice a day for four weeks can improve symptoms of anxiety. Prebiotics has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol in people who took them regularly.

Leafy green vegetables

Leafy greens are foods to boost your mood

Leafy green vegetables are vegetables such as kale, collard greens, beet greens, spinach, watercress.

These vegetables have health benefits including combating the symptoms of depressing and helping the body metabolize serotonin. 

Leafy green vegetables are high in B Vitamins such as B3, B6, and B12.

They are especially high in folate, a B vitamin that helps in the synthesis of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

These are all neurotransmitters that help to regulate mood and ease the symptoms of depression.

Another mental health benefit of leafy greens is that they contain antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation.

Chronic inflammation has been shown to affect cortical circuits in the brain, including those associated with anxiety and depression.

The cortex is the area of your brain responsible for cognitive function, emotions, and mood. Properly functioning cortical circuits help to regulate these functions.

Inflammation of the cortical circuits can cause problems with mood. These changes can lead to the formation of neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.

To enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of leafy green vegetables, you need to eat more than the recommended amount of servings.

The recommended daily amount of vegetables is three cups for men and two and a half cups for women. A large percentage of these should come from leafy greens and red/orange vegetables.

To enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of leafy greens, you may need to eat up to eight servings of vegetables, including leafy greens a day. 

Mixed nuts

Nuts can improve your mood

The following list of nuts can offer health benefits to improve your mood:

  • pistachio
  • almond
  • chashew
  • walnut
  • pecan

Eating a combination of these will help you optimize their health benefits and keep your mood regulated. 

There are claims that eating a handful of nuts like cashew has the same effect as taking a dose of Prozac.

This is because cashew and other nuts are high in tryptophan. That is an amino acid that helps to increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

Besides, most nuts are high in selenium, an essential mineral that must be obtained through food. Selenium helps to combat inflammation and reduces the effects of free radicals in the body.

Different nuts have different mood-boosting benefits.

Walnuts help to replace your B Vitamins, Pistachios reduce the impact of stress on your body while Brazil nuts help you replace zinc and aid in the production of neurotransmitters.

To enjoy the benefits of mixed nuts, eat them in moderation since they are high in fat.

Conclusion

Woman in great mood

A properly balanced diet should include foods that boost your mood naturally.

Diet plays a major role in mood regulation.

Choosing the right foods is essential for ensuring that you stay happy and anxiety-free. Eating a balanced diet is key and it offers numerous health benefits including regulating your mood and keeping you happy.

Combine a healthy diet with regular exercise and you can ensure that your mood stays good most of the time!

Sources

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2015.09.009

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.07.019