We’ve all seen the headlines announcing diet fads, telling us which chemicals to avoid, and foods presenting with a new health-stamp of approval on the daily. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest in health and diet, making trips to the grocery store a stressful event. It’s no secret that feeding the body means fueling the brain, and what we eat affects not just physical, but mental health. You probably know that you can improve your mood with food but, you’re not alone if you’re perplexed. It can be confusing to know what information to digest, and what to disregard when it comes to the union between diet and mental health!
Most are largely in agreement now that dietary details DO matter. Studies conclude that you can improve your mood with food. Research tells us that the quality and nature of food fuels the brain to better function and boosts overall health and quality of life. However, none of us have time to conduct in-depth research when we’re crunched for time in the cereal aisle.
What do you really need to know to improve your mood with food?
Eat more fish.
Mackerel, Salmon, trout- take your pick. All are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are suspected to serve as natural mood stabilizers. If fish isn’t your thing, you can also try shrimp, oysters, seaweed, chia, hemp, and flaxseeds, walnuts, and kidney beans as alternatives.
Don’t skip breakfast.
You’ve probably heard about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. Not to snub the other meals, but researchers now speculate that in kicking your day off right, you can improve your mood with food. High-fiber, unsaturated fats, and lean proteins can contribute to elevated mood, improved memory, and overall increase of energy during the rest of the day. Some suggestions include oatmeal, peanut butter toast, Greek Yogurt with fruit or nuts, eggs, and avocado. It’s worth a try, right?
Know your brain chemicals to improve your mood with food.
Serotonin, known as the “feel-good” chemical in the brain is associated with happiness. A deficit in serotonin majorly contributes to anxiety and depression. Boosting serotonin leads to decrease in unwanted symptoms. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is crucial to production of serotonin. While it doesn’t match the power of a necessary prescription for mental health purposes, studies unveil the impact of introducing more tryptophan in your diet. This amino acid has shown to work as an antidepressant. Foods rich in Tryptophan include poultry, spinach, milk, soy, various nuts and seeds, and eggs.
Food is more than dinner on your plate- it’s fuel for the command center of the body. Your brain has served you pretty well thus far; it’s your responsibility to take care of your health to the best of your ability! Making some diet adjustments, whether major or minute, could drastically improve overall mood and mental health for the long-haul. You can improve your mood with food. That’s the sensational truth! The Book Food & Mood goes more in depth on how to do this.
I’ll be the first to admit that initiating long-lasting change isn’t easy. Whatever the current situation, stress, or insurmountable goal seems to be impossible in the moment, you may find this book helpful. Therapy can also help you to overcome barriers, provide accountability and reinforce success.
What’s your favorite healthy meal?