How to find and use foods for positive mood
Everyone loves to eat a delicious meal. It’s easy to feel better about your day after you’ve enjoyed a bite, but is it just because we like eating?
You might be surprised that food can be an effective brain hack to boost your mood. Plenty of research has gone into foods that boost your mood.
It’s not as simple as eating something and feeling better immediately, of course. Not all foods work the best way, but finding good, mood-enhancing foods isn’t difficult.
How do foods that help your mood work?
The Better Health Channel notes the relationship between mood and food. As it points out, the trick lies in knowing which foods to pick. The problem is that our mood also affects our food choices. If we’re feeling down, we’re less likely to pick foods for a better mood.
It’s vital to note that mental health ties closely to physical and overall health. A good diet and healthy snacks are better for you, and this has repercussions on your mood.
That said, you must remember that food for a better mood is more about diet than specific choices. If you really want to improve your mood for the long term, you want to stick to proven foods that help your mood.
What are the best foods for mood?
With that in mind, what are your options? As mentioned, there’s not a single dish, snack, or ingredient you can add to boost your mood. Sure, tasty food is great for a quick boost, but many of our choices when we’re sad or angry result in a worse mood down the line.
Sugar is a common “quick fix” when we’re moody, but once it runs out, we can become irritable.
Luckily, there are many foods you can find to improve your mood while keeping a healthy diet. The secret isn’t to learn a list of ingredients. Instead, we must look for specific nutrient groups.
Omega-3 presents itself in good fatty acids. Its consumption is believed to tie into lower chances of suffering from depression symptoms. Omega-3 basically means fish: salmon, sardines, and oily fish. Walnuts and chia seeds also contain it.
Similar to omega-3, probiotics can help reduce depression. This time, it’s because of its gastrointestinal perks. Foods containing probiotics are also commonly sweet. Yogurt, buttermilk, pickled vegetables, and sauerkraut are great sources.
Whole grains come packed with B vitamins – those associated with learning, memory, and the production of serotonin and dopamine. Make sure to go for products with a dietary fiber gram for every 5 carbohydrate grams. Quinoa, brown and wild rice, and steel-cut oatmeal are great choices.
Leafy greens are similar to whole grains: rich in B vitamins. Good sources are spinach, lentils, broccoli, beans, and avocado.
Lack of vitamin D is a common depression risk factor. This nutrient promotes serotonin production, and that’s why walking under the sun is a common mood booster. Other sources include egg yolks, cheese, and fortified foods.
Why isn’t coffee in the mood-enhancing foods list?
Now, coffee can be among the foods to boost mood and energy. After all, it does help us when we’re groggy in the morning and tired during the day. The reason we don’t recommend it blindly is that it can be a delicate matter.
Several studies have gone into finding out what are the effects of coffee on mood and emotions. The answer is “it depends.”
Lower doses are better to reap the real benefits of coffee. For instance, 2-5 coffee cups daily can help improve our ability to feel pleasure (and displeasure) while reducing anxiety. A cup every 4 hours during the day is believed to sustain an improved mood.
On the other hand, higher doses are almost guaranteed to result in high anxiety and nervousness.
Additional tips for using foods that boost your mood
Besides the ingredients themselves, a few considerations perfectly complement food for a better mood. Since the psychological effects of food tie closely to diet and habits, we can point out a couple of tips to improve your results.
Anyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal. Studies have found that people having poor or no breakfasts present more depressive symptoms. Make sure to add fiber and good fats to your breakfast. Oatmeal is perfect if you’re in a hurry, and make sure to add fruits.
Proper weight loss
Finally, weight loss helps people feel better overall. However, you must be careful about which diets you choose; make sure you’re getting enough nutrients. Slow weight loss tends to be better.
The effects of food and nutrition on the brain are easy to see. You don’t have to be an expert working in a psychology essay writing service or a psychologist yourself to understand that food can change how we feel.
However, it’s vital to understand that foods for positive mood aren’t a fix. In fact, the main foods we commonly think about are quite counterproductive. Just make sure to take a holistic approach, and you should see results quite quickly.
Story by Anna Logosh