Anyone who has ever reached for a sugary snack when stressed out or feeling grouchy knows that the solace you get is fleeting: a few minutes of satisfaction followed by the inevitable blood-sugar crash, with added irritability to boot. The modern Western diet—high in processed and fried foods, simple carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats—can set you up for depression, anxiety, and mood swings, a recent study has discovered.
10 of the best foods to enhance your mood.
- Berries – Berries are very efficient against depression, as they are full of antioxidants that support the proper functioning of the brain and improve the cognitive function. In addition to this, berries also promote positive energy, they stimulate the production of “feel-good enzymes” in the brain and they can prevent a variety of potentially fatal diseases, such as cancer. The high amount of antioxidants also prevent cell oxidation caused by free radicals, and prevent premature aging. In other words, you should replace the traditional popcorn with frozen blueberries when watching TV or when you feel sad – you will not only stay fit in the long run, but you will also feel happier!
- Chocolate – If you think chocolate is nothing more than a delicious treat, you are wrong! Dark chocolate can improve cognitive function, it can prevent Alzheimer and dementia and it can also boost your mood in a matter of minutes. The darker the chocolate you consume, the better! Dark chocolate slows down the production of stress hormone, and the anxiety levels automatically decrease – moreover, chocolate also makes the brain release endorphins and also boosts the serotonin levels. This creates a feeling of well-being that lasts for several hours.
- Green Tea – Green tea has been used for thousands of years due to its numerous benefits. Just like berries, green tea is also very rich in antioxidants, amino acids and L-theanine, known for reducing stress and anxiety while improving the mood. If consumed on a regular basis, green tea can give a feeling of overall well-being. In addition to elevating mood, L-theanine found in green tea can also increase focus, memory as well as mental alertness. So have one cup of green tea a day and feel the difference!
- Bananas – Bananas contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, as well as tryptophan which is known for raising serotonin levels. All the compounds found in bananas are mood-boosting, and vitamin B6 converts tryptophan into serotonin, the mood-lifting hormone. This way, you will not only feel better but you will also get a better night’s sleep. Tryptophan is a compound that is widely used in medications for treating insomnia, anxiety and depression. You can easily add a banana to your milkshake or eat them raw – regardless of the form, bananas can help with depression if consumed properly.
- Sardines – Numerous studies have revealed the fact that people who are deficient in Omega 3 and Omega 6 are far more susceptible to anxiety and depression than those who have normal levels of fatty acids in the body. Sardines are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, and this elevates the mood and keep the brain healthy in the long run. Moreover, sardines also ensure the efficiency of neurotransmitters because they keep the brain cells flexible and fully functional over the years (if consumed regularly).
- Avocados – Avocados contain good, healthy fats that are known for raising the levels of dopamine and increasing endorphins. No matter if you consume avocados in the form of shakes or salad, this true superfood is perfect for lifting your mood when you feel blue!