How Can Food Boost Your Mood?
You may know that unhealthy eating habits and food can lead to mood swings. Nutritional imbalances and blood sugar fluctuations are among the causes. When you don’t get the energy from the right source, your mind and body may stop functioning appropriately. The following are some ways unhealthy patterns can disturb your mood and emotions:
- Avoiding entire food groups decreases the variety of foods in your diet and reduces your chances of getting essential nutrients. This leads to low levels of magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acid, and other nutrients. It decreases energy and causes mood swings.
- Skipping meals leads to low blood sugar, which makes you tired and weak throughout the day.
- High consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as pastries and white bread, can alter your blood sugar levels, which lead to irritability and low energy.
Some researchers also show that food can contribute to the treatment and prevention of psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression disorders. Although scientists still have to learn more about the effects of food patterns on mental health, some studies show that eating healthy food may have a protective effect. Not to mention, many doctors and researchers believe that balanced consumption of healthy nutrients is as important for your mental wellbeing as physical health.
What Food Can Boost Your Mood?
Here are some nutrients that give you energy and help you avoid nutritional deficiency, which is one of the causes of mood swings. They can also help you produce mood-boosting hormones that make you feel satisfied and happy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These nutrients are present in fatty fish like sardines, lake trout, salmon, and albacore tuna. The Omega-3 fatty acid can help you lower inflammation in your body. However, if you don’t like fish, you can consume chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts to meet your body’s omega-3 fatty acids needs.
Magnesium is one of the most important components that can help you keep your mood balance. Do you know that spinach is not only high in tryptophan but also in magnesium? This nutrient plays a great role in reducing anxiety and support sleep. Other foods that contain a significant amount of magnesium include whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Many green veggies offer you B vitamin folate. Although the connection is not yet understood, low levels of folate may have a link with depression. According to the research of the Journal of Psychiatric, depression patients have lower levels of folate as well as lower intake of folate in their diet compared to people without depression. Other researches also show that low vegetables and fruit consumption can increase the risk of depression.
Here are some folate-rich veggies that you can consume.
- Turnip greens
Experts believe that vitamin D can increase the serotonin levels in your body that can boost your mood. Some studies also suggest that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of depression in older adults. People who fall in the following categories are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency:
- Darker skin
- Living further from the equator
- Spend more time indoors
- Living in a location with more air pollution
For vitamin D, you can eat foods like egg yolks, salmon, milk, orange juice, soy milk, cheese, and sockeye salmon.
So, if you want to boost your mood, the only thing you need to do is to eat healthy. Other factors that can impact your mood even if you are taking nutrient-rich diets include:
- Lack of sleep
- Work stress
To uplift your mood, make sure that you consider every factor that can alter your emotions.