As the popular saying goes: “You are what you eat”, but according to Nutritional Psychiatrists, “You feel how you eat”. Research has shown that what you eat paves the way for a roller coaster of feelings throughout the day, this is why most times there is a sudden burst of happiness after having your favorite snacks, or being sluggish after a heavy meal.
Here are different food and the influence they have on our mood:
Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa content or higher): Dark chocolate releases “endorphins”, also known as the feel-good hormone when consumed.
Fatty fish: Fatty fish such as Salmon, Tuna or Mackerel, rich in Omega-3 acid can positively impact mood and alleviate symptoms of depression.
Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries): Berries rich in antioxidants reduce depression symptoms.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, Kale, and other leafy greens contain folate, which plays a role in the production of neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are packed with Vitamin D,known for its antidepressant qualities which boost mood.
Fermented Food: Foods such as yogurt that goes through the fermentation process are rich in Probiotics which help improve one’s gut, thereby improving an individual’s mood.
Beans and Lentils: Asides keeping you full, the Vitamin B in them supports your mood keeping you happy.
Other worthy mood lifting foods include; Nuts, Bananas, Oats, Avocado, Coconut, among others.
Foods that should be consumed lightly
Processed Foods and Sugary Treats: Foods high in sugar and refined carbs may offer a temporary mood boost followed by energy crashes leading to fatigue, irritability and anxiety.
Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant that can initially create a feeling of relaxation, but excessive alcohol consumption can depress the central nervous system and ultimately worsen mood and anxiety, especially in the long term.
Caffeine: While a cup of coffee can provide a quick energy boost, excessive caffeine intake can lead to jitters, anxiety and even disrupted sleep, affecting overall mood.
Enjoying a balanced diet that supports physical and emotional well-being does not necessarily mean eliminating certain meals entirely, it’s all about moderation and better choices.
By being aware of how different foods affect you, you can discipline yourself to make dietary decisions that positively impact your emotional and mental state.
So, let your food be your friend in lifting your spirits.