There have been many scientific studies over the years on how, and why, certain types of food can improve a person’s mood. According to registered dietitian Elaine Magee, dietary alterations cause changes in brain structure, both chemically and physiologically, leading to modified behavior. This means that the next time you’re having one of those really bad days, you can actually eat those blues away with a healthy diet! Here’s a list of foods you should be adding to your daily menu to boost your mood ASAP!
Saffron: Researchers believe this spice has the same effect on a person’s mood as Prozac by allowing the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin to be more prevalent in the brain. It also helps relieve women’s PMS symptoms, such as mood swings and depression.
Coconut: Simply smelling coconut can reduce the body’s natural “flight or flight” response and reduce heart rate and blood pressure in times of stress. Click here for our delicious Coconut Chicken recipe.
Chocolate: Who knew a decadent treat could be good for your health? Eating 1.4 ounces of this deliciousness daily for two weeks reduces stress hormones, such as cortisol. Just don’t forget to account for the calories when you are indulging in this treat! Click here to try our Creamy Chocolate Smoothie.
Oily Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mussels and sardines are rich with omega-3s. Adding fatty fish to your daily diet will fill your body with mood-boosting nutrients. Omega-3s positively affect dopamine and serotonin in the brain which are directly linked with our moods. Click here to try our Pan-Seared Salmon Salad.
Tea: To become more focused and clear your head, drink 5-6 cups of caffeinated black, green or oolong tea a day. An amino acid in these teas works with caffeine to improve your attention and alertness.
Leafy Greens: Vegetables such as spinach, asparagus and brussels sprouts are filled with a B vitamin called folate, which is known to reduce symptoms of depression. These greens boost the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine in the brain and increase happy moods!
Carbs: Healthy carbohydrates can be a helpful aide in producing serotonin. Simple carbs are known to boost mood instantly, while complex carbs take a longer time to digest and a longer time to boost mood.
Oranges: In addition to the sweet and tangy scent known to spark up your senses, oranges are high in vitamin B6 and folic acid; vitamins that have been shown to be lacking in patients with depression.