Most people tend to reach for food in order to pick themselves up out of the doldrums. In fact, there’s even a term for a certain type of it: emotional eating. It’s generally defined as a manner of eating deliberately meant to soothe or suppress negative emotions. The tendency is to go for treats that are sweet and have a high calorie content. Unfortunately, those have negative effects of their own.
Of course, food isn’t the only factor that influences food. Others include environment, genetics, mood disorders, poor sleep, and stress. It’s probably crossed your mind to explore healthy eating and nutrition in terms of feel-good food. There could be some truth to that; nutritional deficiencies can also impact mood.
Read on for more about healthy foods that can do wonders for a person’s mood.
You don’t have to slip on a banana like a cartoon for it to make you laugh or at least smile. Since they’re high in vitamin B6, it means feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine are synthesized well. A large one that comes at 136 grams can provide up to 3.5 grams of fiber and 16 grams of sugar.
Paired with fiber, sugar gets a slow release into the bloodstream. That leads to better mood control and stable blood sugar levels.
You may have heard about this before, but there’s some science to back it up. There are many feel-good compounds found in dark chocolate: caffeine, N-acylethanolamine, and theobromine. N-acylethanolamine is particularly notable since it has chemical similarities to cannabinoids, which are linked to mood improvement. The flavonoids it contains have been shown to boost brain health, increase blood flow to the brain, and reduce inflammation.
The sugar content it contains is also ideal brain fuel. However, since it’s high in calories, a square or two (of 70% or more) at a time should do the trick.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body can’t produce, which means you need to get them through your diet. Albacore tuna and salmon are two kinds of fatty fish rich in two types of omega-3s: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both are linked to lowering depression levels.
A 100 gram or 3.5 ounce serving of salmon that provides 2,260 mg of DHA and EPA consumed a few times in a week can help get Omega 3 into your diet.
Brain health benefits from Omega-3’s contributions to cell membrane fluidity. Brain development and cell signaling alike seem to gain benefits from Omega-3 as well. In a similar vein, Omega-3 consumed as fish oil has been shown in some studies to help with lowering depression scores.
Going through a low mood and even mood disorders can be attributed to multiple factors. One great way to boost your mood is by consuming healthy food. This includes the likes of bananas, dark chocolate, and fatty fish like salmon. What are you waiting for? Stock up on these goodies and enhance your mood!
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