Does Your Mood Need a Lift? 10 Foods That Can Do It!
Posted Aug 08 2011 5:44am
Do you feel exhausted, both in body and spirit?Are you in a constant brain fog so much you wonder if you are showing early signs of Alzheimer’s?
Are you stressed anxious, impatient, depressed or lack focus?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is probably time for you to start paying attention to the foods you eat.
Write this down: the food you eat not only fuels your body, it also fuels your mood!
Our behavior is greatly affected by how we feel. How we feel is greatly affected by what we eat. Feeling good leads to being healthier and happier. There are several things you can do to feel good such as: take a walk; listen to your favorite music; get enough sleep at night; eat several small meals throughout the day to balance blood sugars; increase your protein intake; or just get outside to breathe some fresh air.
One of the biggest things you can do to offset a bad mood is to eat something good for you, especially specific foods that naturally help promote good moods.
Try one of these 10 foods to help pick you up and enhance your mood today!
Apricots are a tasty little low-calorie fruit. They are rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan, which the body converts to the feel-good chemical serotonin. This brain chemical lifts your mood and helps to reduce stress and anxiety and can over help you be more optimistic. It also helps improve your sleep. They can be eaten fresh, dried or stewed. Keep one on hand when you need a quick snack or energy boost.
Bananas are one of my favorite comfort foods. Their rich, creamy texture and sweet taste are ideal when I want a treat. They’re rich in vitamin B6 which can help reduce fatigue. They also contain potassium, which can relieve irritability, and L-tryptophan to overall reduce stress and promote healthy sleep.
They must be called asparagus “spears” because they can be used to fight off tiredness and low spirits. They contain numerous vitamins and minerals including many of the B vitamins that are essential for proper brain function. Lacking in B vitamins is what can cause you to be sleepy, depressed, anxious or constantly on edge. Bonus! They are super easy to prepare! They can be sautéed or grilled in 7 minutes or steamed in 5.
The monosaturated fats in avocados are essential in assisting your body absorb certain nutrients that can improve your mood. Instead of reaching for junk food when you’re feeling down, reach for an avocado. They’re delicious by themselves, added to sandwiches and salads, made into guacamole, or sliced and sprinkled with lemon juice and paprika.
#5 Sweet Potatoes
Is there anything in the world that is sweet, rich and filling and is actually good for you? Yep, it’s a sweet potato! This vegetable is packed with nutrients that can help raise your spirits. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, potassium…these are just a few of the vital vitamins that can help give your mood a healthy lift. I don’t like French fries but you can’t keep me away from sweet potato fries. They are to die for!
#6 Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are one of the richest sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids which are important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. The additional nutrients in these tiny seeds can lift depression, aid concentration, increase energy levels and help control premenopausal symptoms. The benefits of these seeds can be obtained by eating the whole seed, ground flaxseed or in flaxseed oil. Add whole or ground flax seed to cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, salad dressings, or smoothies. One tablespoon contains nearly all the omega-3 fatty acids you need in a day.
Ever notice that a whole walnut in its’ shell looks just like a human brain? According to the “Doctrine of Signatures” (a concept in herbalism that is based on the idea that God marked everything with a sign for its purpose), God was letting us know that walnuts are truly “brain food.” And they are! Walnuts contain the highest amount of omega-3 fats of any other nuts and as we just discussed, these fats are essential in helping to improve our mood. Plus, if your super stressed, taking a nutcracker to a walnut will provide instant stress relief as you crunch down on that shell, or at least, this works for me!
I love sardines because they are healthy, fast and convenient. Most people think I am weird because I can eat them straight from the can. We’ve mentioned a couple foods that are rich in omega-3s and their role in helping with mood and sardines are another excellent source of these mood lifting fats. You don’t have to eat them straight from the can like me. Blend them into salad dressings, fry them up in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and serve them over pasta or serve them on toast with mustard, sliced cucumbers and some red onion. Find a way you can eat them because your body needs them!
#9 Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain and eating whole grains can help keep blood sugar stable, which helps improve alertness, concentration, and memory. Brown rice is also rich in magnesium, which plays a major role in reducing stress and mood swings. Brown rice can be prepared on the stove or in a rice cooker (I always do mine in a rice cooker) and can be used in place of white rice in any recipe.
Besides being my favorite spice, cinnamon, within the last few years, has been noted for its’ ability to help moderate blood sugar which in turn helps to prevent mood swings. It is also really good for digestive function and we all know when our digestion is poor, we are not pleasant to be around. Try sprinkling cinnamon in with your coffee grounds before brewing. Mix in with hot cereals. Add to yogurt. Or use to flavor your winter squash or sweet potatoes.
Does your mood need a lift? How will you apply what you learned today to your life so you can begin to feel a difference? I would love for you to share your comments below or visit me on Facebook!
To your good mood!
Randi's passion is to create positive change in a person's life that leads to prolonged health and happiness. She works with individuals who wish to lose weight, increase their energy, lower stress and manage and prevent disease through the use of natural health solutions. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, exercise enthusiast and rep for Young Living Essential Oils .