What we eat cannot only affect our health but also our mood. Research has examined the relationship between food and the brain and identified several nutrients that can help manage depression. Calcium, chromium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and zinc have all been identified as central to mood management. Eating certain foods that are rich in such nutrients is especially good for improving mood. Here are 5 foods that can help boost your mood.
1. Chocolate: You certainly everyone know that Chocolate can boost your mood, but do you know why? Eating dark chocolate (1.4 ounces of it, to be exact) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol, in people who were highly stressed, a study done at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland recently found. Experts believe it could be thanks to the antioxidants in chocolate.
2. Fish: Oily, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a key mood-boosting nutrient and one our bodies don’t produce. Our brains are mostly fat, so we need enough omega fatty acids for optimal growth, development, and function of brain tissue. When the brain doesn’t have enough omega fatty acids, the structure of brain cell membranes and nerve connections are inferior, which leads to cognitive and emotional disorders.
3. Broccoli: Broccoli and collard greens are packed with vitamins B6 and B9. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help manage premenstrual depression in some women. It can also benefit those suffering from general depression as sufferers often have low levels of B9. Broccoli is also a great source of chromium, a substance which can help relieve atypical depression.
4. Seeds: Seeds are some of the best natural mood boosters. For example, pumpkin seeds are chock-full of zinc (containing 23 percent of our daily recommended value in just one once), which promotes emotional resilience because zinc deficiencies have been shown to be a factor underlying depression. They are also rich in magnesium, the calming nutrient known as the original chill pill.
5. Nuts: Nuts are packed with important minerals that aid mental health such as selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. Walnuts are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They also help replace B vitamins, critical for mood. On the other hand, Brazil nuts have lots of magnesium, which helps calm the nerves and they also contain zinc, an antidepressant element that combats anxiety.