We know that sweet treats or your favourite foods can make you happy and turn things around on a low day but we’re talking science. Some foods are known to transform your mood because of certain compounds that they contain. A lot of research has shown that our diet can affect our mood. The theory is simple – the food we eat can bring about certain changes in our brain structure which can affect your mood and behaviour. There are also several factors that can affect your feelings. These simple tips can help you manage your mood better:
- Never skip breakfast. It helps in giving you a good start physically and mentally.
- Keep yourself well hydrated at all times. Dehydration may often lead to mood swings.
- Your brain needs healthy fats to function properly. So, don’t ignore all fats. Food like oily fish, poultry, nuts, eggs, avocado and seeds contain good fats.
- Make sure you get enough protein from lean meat, lentils or soya. Proteins contain amino acids that help in producing certain chemicals which your brain need to process feelings.
- Keep your gut healthy. Eat lots of fruit and veggies that are full of fibre along with probiotics like yogurt. Your brain is constantly communicating with your gut that sends signals about various feelings.
- Keep a check on your nutrient count as a deficiency of certain vitamins like Vitamin D and minerals like iron can cause anxiety, irritability and moodiness. A common symptom of vitamin deficiencies is feeling low regularly.
- Avoid too much caffeine as it may be messing with your mood. It may provide a short-term spike but in the long run it increases dependency and withdrawal can leave you with mood swings.
We’re not done yet. Here’s more help your way – ten foods that can make you feel good on a bad day. Load up on these when you feel need to be encouraged.
Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, which helps to prevent depression by reducing inflammation in the brain. It can be considered as a sweet natural defence which helps you feel better. Honey also helps in boosting energy production in the brain.
They can actually work like painkillers and make you feel relaxed. They’re low in calories and high on fibre. Cherries are a great source of melatonin a hormone that helps you sleep well. It’s good to gorge on a few before you go to bed.
3. Fatty Fish
Fish that contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids like mackerel, snapper can help in curbing mood swings. Various scientific studies have linked consumption of fish to reduced risk of depression.
They are great sources of B vitamin folate that helps in boosting your mood. Beets are also packed with betaine. Betaine is used by our brain to produce SAM-e that acts as natural anti-depressant.
Tomatoes get their colour due to the presence of a compound called lycopene. Lycopene helps in regulating your mood. Besides this, it also contains folate, magnesium and iron that help in producing mood-boosting neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
This may not be new to you, but it’s good to know that the antioxidants present in chocolate help in reducing high levels of stress hormones. Dark chocolate contains a compound called anandamide that can make you feel good and is also known to temporarily block feelings of pain and sadness.
Spinach is packed with folate which regulates our mood by boosting the levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is responsible for balancing our mood. Many researchers believe that a deficiency of serotonin may lead to depression.
Here’s a reason to go bananas! They contain mood-boosting elements like dopamine and Vitamin B6. Most doctors would recommend having a banana in the morning that’ll keep you at ease throughout the day.
Walnuts are dense with anti-oxidants, magnesium and omega-3. Magnesium is known to keep one’s mood steady by regulating the blood sugar levels. It had been seen that a deficiency of magnesium may make a person feel irritable, anxious and agitated.
The pleasant aroma of coconut is known to soothe our response in stressful situations. It helps diminish anxiety and slows our heart rate.