It’s that time of year where it’s getting darker earlier, it’s colder, and many of us are spending less time outside. It makes sense if your energy levels are lower or you’re feeling a bit blue. The good news is that there are foods to boost your mood and have a positive impact on your long-term mental health. (Which means the opposite is true as well, foods low on nutritional quality can have an adverse effect on your health and mood.)
Before you hit the grocery store with your tote bags, we’ve put together our list of our favourite foods to boost your mood to incorporate into your everyday meals.
We’re really big fans of green tea. If you want to read all about the amazing benefits of green tea then check out our blog post on 20 Reasons to Have Green Tea Everyday here. Green tea leaves are a superfood if there ever was one and one of its many amazing abilities is that it can help maintain a positive mood! It can even help protect your brain against disease and disorders. It has also been shown to boost dopamine levels in the brain, which helps you maintain a sunny if not more positive disposition. Sip up!
Over past few decades, fish has earned a reputation as a food to eat to help combat depression. Now that we have Omega-3 Fatty Acids to thank for it. Healthy brain and nerve cells depend on Omega-3’s. By ensuring you’re getting your adequate amount you’re giving your body a better chance at sleeping better and having an improved outlook on life.
Chocolate has always had the magical ability to make us feel happy and it’s not because we’re treating ourselves. We have now learned that dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins. But keep your sweet indulgences to a minimum since too much sugar can have the opposite effect on your mood and health.
“Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.”
Therefore, fermented foods that are packed with antioxidants, probiotics, and lactic acids that nourish your gut can have a positive effect on your mood and mental well-being. It’s one of our favourite foods to boost your mood since we try to add fermented foods any chance we get!
Kale is not only a fantastic food for supporting your body’s ability to detoxify itself from harmful elements, it’s also a food you should be filling up on to boost your mood and mental state. Its leaves are packed with nutrients including Vitamin A, K, & C which your brain needs to function. Filling up on kale not only means that you’re increasing your body’s ability to fight off cancer and keep inflammation at bay, it also means you’re reducing your chances of anxiety and depression.
Not only do goji berries potentially help fight cancer and help you get a better night’s sleep, but it’s also been proven to improve energy levels, feelings of calmness, and improve brain function. When you’re looking for foods to boost your mood, it’s as easy as adding goji berries to your morning oatmeal or cereal, your trail mix when you’re heading out. We like adding goji berry juice to our sparkling water.
There’s a reason an entire generation has claimed it as their food (millennials) and it’s probably because its high content of ‘good fats’ have been shown to boost your mood and improve your sense of well-being. As if we needed another reason to snack on avocado toast.
Whipping up a protein shake is a great way to get yourself ready to take on the day and invest in your mental health. Not only can you combine it with other mood-lifting foods like avocados or goji berries but protein itself has been shown to help your brain function efficiently. A diet high in complete proteins means that your brain is getting the amino acids it needs to produce neurotransmitters. When lacking these acids we can feel low or have feelings of aggressiveness.
Looking to learn more about achieving optimal health? Read our article on What is Biotin and Why Do We Need It next!