You may think that nutrition only affects your physical health, but it has just as big as an effect on your mental health as well. Recently, more and more research on the relationship between nutrition and mental health has been coming out. While your mood can be affected by a variety of factors like stress, environment, and sleep, studies show that certain foods have been proven to have a positive effect on brain health.
While you're down, it's easy to reach for comfort foods that will have negative consequences on your body. Instead of going for sugary, bad-for-you foods, try to start incorporating some of these ingredients to elevate your happiness. If you notice, most of these foods are considered superfoods, so they do far more than just boost your mood.
Honey is an all around wonder ingredient that has a multitude of benefits. Natural honey contains a blend of sugar, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, zinc, and antioxidants. In addition to being a natural sweetener, honey is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and an antioxidant. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, honey has been shown to improve memory, learning and reduces anxiety.
Ginger can be found in many forms and has been used for thousands of years to treat ailments. It provides a wide range of benefits from immunity support, to easing stomach issues. Nutrients found in ginger like Vitamin B6 and magnesium will help give you an energy boost. Ginger has been shown increases serotonin and dopamine levels providing benefits for anxiety, depression, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and post traumatic stress disorder.
Bananas are often referred to as brain food. They are rich in potassium and magnesium that give the brain energy and help sharpen brain focus. Magnesium is a mineral that helps facilitate the electrical activity between the nerve cells in your brain. When you eat a banana, you're ingesting a fruit sugar, which will be used more gradually than refined sugar. Eating a banana is a good way to to get steady brain fuel throughout the day.
Fatty fish, like tuna or salmon are jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart and your mind. The abundance of omega-3 fatty acids help with the mitigation of depression as anti-inflammatory molecules. Salmon is rich in two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are linked to lower levels of depression.
5. Beans & Lentils
Beans and Lentils are full of fiber and feel-good nutrients. They are an excellent source of B vitamins, which can help improve your mood by increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and gamma aminobutyric acid which are important for regulating mood. The other good thing about beans and lentils? They are slowly absorbed by the body and can reduce cravings for unhealthy carbs which often leads to volatile blood sugar spikes.
In conclusion, your food can definitely affect your mood. Thankfully, there's more than just these 5 ingredients that you can add to your diet to help boost your mood. Next time you're feeling blue, instead of reaching for ice cream, try to aim for more wholesome food choices.