12 Healthy Foods That Can Lift Your Mood and 7 Foods to Avoid to Enjoy a Happy Life
Do you often feel low? Do you wish to improve your mood with natural solutions? If that’s so, certain simple dietary modifications can help. What you eat not only affects your physiological health but also impacts your psychological well-being. The food you consume impacts the function and structure of your brain, thereby affecting your mood. Also, unhealthy eating patterns can make you suffer from mood swings. Including certain nutritious foods in your diet can improve the function of your brain and impact your energy levels positively. This helps you lead a happier, cheerful life. Staying happy is crucial for our health and well-being. For this purpose, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Happiness on 20th March every year. It aims to spread the significance of happiness in the lives of people throughout the world. The theme of the International Day of Happiness 2023 is “Be Mindful, Be Grateful, and Be Kind”. It emphasizes improving your happiness by caring for yourself and the people around you. Taking care of your diet can help you lift your mood effortlessly. So, you might be wondering which foods can help lift your spirits, aren’t you? Check out the list of nutritious mood-boosting foods below.
12 Best Foods to Uplift Your Mood:
Eating healthy foods can elevate your mood and make you feel better and happier. Here’s a list of foods that you can count on to improve your mood.
When you feel low the next time, munch on nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, and almonds. All these nuts help boost your serotonin levels, the neurotransmitter that helps you feel good. A variety of nuts offer you varied mood-bosting benefits. Brazil nuts are known to have the highest selenium content, which helps minimize anxiety and depression. Tryptophan, an amino acid, in cashews provides your brain with a feel-good boost. So, snack on a handful of cashews regularly.
The high calcium content in Greek yoghurt uplifts your spirit and alleviates your depressive mood. The good bacteria in it help improve your gut health. Eating yoghurt enables you to stay full throughout the day. Sprinkle berries, chia seeds, and granola on a bowl of Greek yoghurt and have it in your breakfast daily.
Packed with the B vitamin known as folate, spinach helps your brain produce dopamine. Dopamine is known for its calming effect and promoting a feel-good sense. The daily intake of spinach is beneficial for improving your mood. You may have spinach in your meals or prepare its salad along with chia seeds and strawberries and eat it after your meals.
Eggs are natural food sources of vitamin D, which is known to be a mood-lifting nutrient. A deficiency of vitamin D can make you feel lethargic and blue. So, eating eggs can lift your spirit.
Additionally, eggs are abundant in the mineral magnesium, which helps you cope with anxiety. The majority of essential nutrients are present in the egg yolk. So, make sure that you eat the egg yolk when you have eggs in your breakfast.
Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, savouring salmon helps boost your spirit. Omega-3 fatty acids help you combat anxiety and depression. They also promote good brain health. Salmon is also a good food source of vitamin B12. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to depression. The next time you feel low or anxious, try a salmon recipe and improve your mood.
High levels of antioxidants in berries help you fight free radicals or oxidative stress and improve your immunity. Antioxidants also improve your cognitive function and brain health, thereby lifting your spirit.
On top of that, berries also contain anthocyanidins which help prevent the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. So, when you feel stressed the next time, snack on a handful of berries. Blueberries help counteract the adverse impact of stress on your body. So, relish these berries in your breakfast.
Cherry tomatoes are healthy food choices to combat mood swings. The tomato’s skin is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight inflammation that causes depression and mood swings. Also, tomatoes are a portable snack. So, you can have cherry tomatoes in your food preparations when on the go. To improve your mood, you may add more pieces of tomatoes containing their skin to your diet.
If you are a non-vegetarian, you may include chicken in your diet to beat the stress. Chicken contains high levels of tryptophan, which promotes the production of serotonin in your body. Also, it contains tyrosine, which is an amino acid that regulates your body’s reaction to stress. The intake of tyrosine also helps build up dopamine and norepinephrine, which are effective mood-boosting neurotransmitters.
If you are looking for a plant-based food source of tryptophan, eat asparagus. The high folate content in asparagus helps you fight depression. These nutritious green stalks serve as a tasty snack. You may sprinkle some olive oil on it and relish it.
One of the favourite ways of improving your mood and beating stress is snacking on a bar of dark chocolate. Rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate helps lift your mood. It also stimulates your endorphins, de-stresses you, and offers you an instant feel-good boost. So, go for dark chocolate that comprises a minimum of 70% cocoa.
Savouring oats in your breakfast or meals not only helps lower your cholesterol but also aids in maintaining your mood and energy for the day. Oats release energy into your blood slowly and help maintain your blood sugar and mood stable. So, you don’t experience mood swings.
One of the most loved foods to improve your mood is a banana. It contains potassium which enhances your brain function. The tryptophan content in bananas regulates your mood. Also, bananas contain vitamin B6 which helps boosts your serotonin and reduces your stress, anxiety, and depression. You feel better after eating a banana. So, make it a habit to relish a banana daily.
7 Worst Foods to Avoid When Trying to Improve Your Mood:
Some foods can destroy your health and happiness. They may make you feel more stressed, tired, and anxious later. Here’s a list of foods that you should avoid as they may steal your happiness.
- Highly Processed Foods: High in refined carbohydrates and added fats, ultra-processed foods are addictive. These foods may cause energy spikes and crashes. This is bad for people dealing with depression and anxiety.
- High GI Foods: Foods with high GI might appear to make you happy but they are unhealthy and affect your psychological health adversely later. All sorts of added sugar can make your blood sugar spike and, later, crash. This affects your mood adversely and increases your irritability, stress, and anxiety. It also increases your cravings and makes you feel fatigued. Foods with high GI also promote inflammation, which is related to depression and other problems that can make you feel unhappy. So, say no to high GI foods.
- Foods Low in Fibre: These foods can also make your blood sugar spike and crash. So, you may end up suffering from mood swings.
- Artificially Coloured and Sweetened Foods: Additives, such as artificial food colours, flavours, and preservatives, can cause mood disorders. For instance, MSG (monosodium glutamate) can trigger the symptoms of anxiety and depression. So, avoid foods with MSG.
- Foods Loaded with Hormones: Dairy and meat industries use hormones to boost milk production and space up growth. However, these hormones are harmful to our health and well-being.
- Foods Having Pesticides Sprayed on Them: Foods that are sprayed with pesticides can hamper your mood and may make you experience anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
Now that you know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid for mood management, make sure that you enrich your diet with the right foods and avoid harmful foods. Spread the word about healthy eating this International Day of Happiness to encourage a greater number of people to improve their mood with a healthy diet. Consulting nutritionists, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you have a customised diet for mood management. Our diet plan not only improves your mood but also boosts your immunity, manages weight, lowers potential health risks, and promotes good health. So, think no further, get in touch with us at Health Total and lift your spirit with our personalized diet for improving mood.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips for improving your mood and beating anxiety with the right dietary measures or managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-833-171709 and Book Free Consultation!