Your food doesn’t just impact your waistline, it can also affect your mood. Consider that everything you eat is broken down and absorbed by your body. Of course, it can certainly have an effect on your mood. The food you eat impacts how you feel.
For example, consider how eating a piece of chocolate impacts your mood differently than consuming a plain baked potato.
See how what you put into your body matters to your body and your mind:
- Fermented foods. Fermented foods are great for the health of the good bacteria in your gut. There is evidence that these bacteria play an important part in mental and physical health. Some examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, and kombucha.
– If none of those foods appeal to you, there are over the counter probiotic supplements that are likely to provide the same benefit.
- Salmon. Not just salmon, but other cold-water fatty fish including mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown in some studies to boost health.
- Chocolate. It only takes one bite of chocolate to know that it makes you feel better than you did right before eating it. Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (70% or higher) is actually quite healthy when eaten in moderation and can give your mood a great boost.
– Chocolate reduces cortisol, too, which is a primary indicator of stress.
- Leafy green vegetables. Those green leafy vegetables are high in magnesium, which has been shown to reduce anxiety. As a general rule, the darker greens like spinach are healthier than lighter greens like lettuce. Try a mixture of greens to get the greatest benefit.
- Nuts. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, and even some fiber. The most important nutrient found in nuts regarding mood is tryptophan which is used to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is one of the positive-mood brain chemicals.
- Fruit. Bananas in particular have been shown to boost mood, but all fruits are worth trying out as a mood enhancer. Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and can give your blood sugar a boost.
- Coffee. Caffeine in moderation can certainly boost your mood, but there’s a lot more to coffee than just caffeine. Coffee is loaded with a variety of naturally occurring chemicals that are quite healthy and good for your mood.
– You can even skip the caffeine and consume decaf and get a similar mood-boosting effect.
- Green Tea. Like coffee, green tea can be a healthy beverage that also boosts your mood. One of the chemicals found in green tea that induces calmness is EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate. The small amount of caffeine found in green tea is also good for your mood.
- Oysters. Many people are low in zinc and oysters are loaded with zinc. There are a couple of studies that show eating oysters regularly reduces anxiety and depression. Oysters are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids and many vitamins.
If your mood is sourer than you’d like, changing your diet might have a positive impact. The foods you eat do have an effect on your mood, focus, and emotional health. Be sure to eat at least one food each day that is likely to have a positive impact on your mood.
Track how your mood is influenced by the foods you eat. It won’t take long before you know which foods to eat and which to avoid.