Turns out food really can make you happy
What we eat is essentially linked with our mood - and we’re not just talking about food guilt from face planting into a whole box of double stuffed Oreos or fried onion rings. Low blood sugar, for example, can cause mood swings, while consuming healthy fats may help keep your mood stable.* So, while we love sugar and fat just as much as the next people, there’s now even more reason to replace all that processed junk with healthier food options.
We decided to make a list of what some of those healthier options are.
Salmon contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are nutrients which supports a healthy brain.* Since the body doesn’t naturally produce them, it’s recommended that you should eat wild salmon about twice a week. If possible, it’s safest to choose wild-caught Alaskan salmon over farmed salmon - it has the lowest risk for possible contaminants such as pesticides and pollutants.
Don’t worry. If you don’t like fish, you can turn to other foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids - flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are a few alternatives.
Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, which means that they release sugar slowly into the bloodstream and helps to prevent a rapid spike in blood sugar. This means that they can help stabilize your energy and mood. They also happen to be high in fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium - all of which have boosting properties.
The monounsaturated fats found in avocados not only support healthy brain function, they can support your mood health.*
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
When making a salad, it’s suggested that you add spinach or kale. These two leafy greens help increase the folate in your body.*
Oats contain dietary fiber, which may help you stay full. Eating nutrient-dense foods may help your blood sugar from getting too low.* When your blood sugar gets too low, there’s a higher chance of a mood swing. So, it’s good to eat plenty of oats, and they come in different forms for your convenience - oatmeal, energy bars, and even adding them to your favorite smoothie for an extra pick-me-up.
B12 Rich Foods
Foods high in vitamin B12 - like shellfish, beef liver, low-fat dairy, eggs, or fortified food products - have been known to support mood health. *
Foods high in tryptophan - including almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and tofu - can work to help boost your mood.*
Don’t worry, it isn’t all just fruits, vegetables, herbs, and the like. Dark chocolate is especially helpful by increasing the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are known to release endorphins and to support relaxation. * Keep in mind that this is only for chocolate with 70% or more cacao.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts have nutrients that aid in serotonin and dopamine production. For the best results, it’s recommended that you eat about an ounce of various nuts daily. Nut butter works too, if you’re craving a hot bowl of oats or a nice baked good that goes well with nuts.
Aside from food, exercise is one of the most powerful natural mood boosters. Don’t worry, it’s not just intense weight lifting - it can even be a nice stroll through the park, if that’s what you want. By releasing endorphins and serotonin, just like dark chocolate and nuts, exercising may help improve your mood.
As always, please consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.