11 Foods to End Bad Moods
Feeling down? Luckily, for you, happiness is only a few bites away! The following mood boosting foods are sure to make you instantly happier (and healthier!).
1. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa is known to improve blood flow to regions of the brain associated with pleasure. Eating dark chocolate produces endorphins in the brain, which make us feel good and reduce the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
It’s important to note that milk chocolate will not produce the same effect, as it contains significantly lower proportions of cocoa than dark chocolate. Also remember to eat chocolate in moderation. One to two ounces a day should be sufficient to produce the desired effect.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt contains high quantities of both protein and calcium. Protein consumption increases the levels of mood boosting neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Calcium deficiency is linked to depression, anxiety and irritability and so it’s extremely important for you to maintain healthy levels of this important mineral.
Honey helps reduce inflammation, which is crucial for brain health. In fact, some kinds of depression are the result of chronic, low-grade inflammation.
4. Fatty Fish
Fish such as salmon, trout, herring and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help suppress anxiety. Regular consumption of omega-3s, wards off depression, anger and irritability by improving communication between brain cells.
Lentils are an excellent source of folate. Research has shown that people who are depressed tend to have lower levels of folate in their blood. Folate deficiency can cause lethargy and decreased levels of serotonin, a major mood-regulating neurotransmitter.
This fruit is rich in medium chain triglycerides, which provide immediate brain fuel. Coconut also contains lauric acid, a substance that enhances brain health and cleanses the liver. This too enhances your mood as an overwhelmed liver often leads to sluggishness and depression.
We’re often told to avoid carbohydrates. But, when consumed in moderation, carbohydrates serve as instant mood enhancers. Fast burning carbohydrates are thought to be linked to pleasure centers in the brain. Carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, pasta and cereals are not only active mood improvers, but also act as slimming aids as they are satisfying, but lack the fat content found in other carbohydrate sources like cakes and biscuits.
Dehydration is one of the most common, yet overlooked sources of bad moods. Even mild dehydration can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, fatigue and confusion.
9. Citrus Fruits
Even the scent of the peel and pulp of citrus fruits (lemons, grapefruit, oranges etc.) is known to stimulate certain pleasure-related receptors in the brain. Their sweet, natural sugars cause an instant energy boost and increased serotonin levels in the brain. They are also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient which is necessary for the healthy functioning of the immune system and whose deficiency is associated with irritability, fatigue and depression. Most citrus fruits have a high water content and so are an excellent way to stay hydrated.
Like fish, eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain several essential amino acids, vitamins (A, D, B and biotin), choline and minerals (zinc and magnesium). The protein enables them to stabilize blood sugar levels, keeping you energized and happy for longer period of time. Vitamin B and choline are needed for the nervous system to function properly and impact cognitive function. Zinc and magnesium help combat anxiety.
11. Leafy Green Vegetables
Vegetables such as spinach, kale and swiss chard are packed with mood boosting nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals zinc, iron and calcium, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber. Together these nutrients fight inflammation, cleanse the liver and other organs of toxins, fight inflammation, pathogens and cancer, and keep us alert and active.