Improving your mood might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you’re eating a bowl of spinach. But you’d be surprised at how much of an impact certain foods have on our attitude. These foods go beyond just nutritional health and make you feel good at an emotional level. If you’re feeling a little down in the dumps lately, then revamping your diet could be the answer. These five foods play a huge role in improving your mood and helping you become more content.
1. Fatty Fish
Wild-caught fish like Atlantic salmon contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are the ultimate mood enhancers. These fish contain DHAs which improve your brain’s ability to send and receive neurotransmitters. When your brain is able to recognize signals better, it’s easier for you to feel happy and content. They also improve your brain’s cognition skills, like its memory power and increases your efficiency. When you’re doing better at work, your job satisfaction automatically improves and you feel happier. You could get these fatty acids in the form of supplements, but then you’d lose out on all that fishy deliciousness.
2. Raw Cacao
Anyone who’s gobbled up a bar of chocolate at the end of a gloomy day knows the positive effects chocolate can have on your mood. Raw cacao has all the nutritional goodness of commercial chocolate with none of the unhealthy added sugars. It contains a chemical known as phenylethylamine which sounds intimidating, but is the chemical released by your body when you’re falling in love. So if you’re having a bad day, make a pudding out of raw cacao and experience that wonderful feeling of falling in love. Unlike most relationships, cacao won’t break up with you or pick on you all the time. So choose cacao over humans and stay happy all your days.
3. Leafy Greens
Having to eat spinach might have made you mad as a kid, but it could actually improve your state of mind. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens contain magnesium and vitamin C which are important for the production of certain hormones. When we eat our greens, our body begins to convert the compounds within them into dopamine and serotonin. There are few hormones which can make you feel as happy as a these two can, so eat plenty of leafy greens to help you beat the blues.
4. Fermented Foods
It might sound surprising, but most of your moods can be traced back to your gut. The little bacteria in your gut (all 100 trillion of them) work together to send signals to your brain. If your gut’s microbiota is out of balance, this imbalance is conveyed to your brain and is reflected in the way you feel. To improve your emotional state at the source, get plenty of probiotics and prebiotics in your diet to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria. A well-balanced gut will speed up your digestion, improve your skin and most importantly, make you happier.
Spirulina is a type of algae that has recently been discovered to have incredible health benefits. It is one of the few -and best- plant sources of vitamin B12 which has been shown to have a significant impact on our mood. It also contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which makes your brain better able to pass along happy emotions. Spirulina tends to taste like mold though, so eating a spoon of it straight out of the jar might not be the best idea. Take a spirulina pill or add a scoop of spirulina powder to your smoothies to make yourself a mood-boosting drink.