Monday, 28 December 2015

Which foods improve our mood?

1. Omega-3 fatty acids have been praised for their health benefits, including possibly influencing your mood. One study found that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to experience moderate or mild symptoms of depression.

Sources that contain the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds, walnuts, and salmon.

2. Stress aggravates depression symptoms and exhausts your body.Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries may help prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland. During stressful situations, cortisol heads towards your hippocampus, a major portion of the brain that stores memories, provides emotional responses, and navigation. Keep berries in your bag to combat stress when it hits

3. Research on folic acid’s effect on the brain has given insight into how it can boost your mood. There’s some evidence that the body uses it to create serotonin — a neurotransmitter that affects mood — but there’s no conclusive evidence as to how it works. Including it in your diet is a good idea regardless. 

You can get high amounts of folic acid in leafy greens, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, oranges, fortified cereals, lentils, black-eyed peas, and soybeans. 

4. Like folic acid, low levels of vitamin B12 in the blood are associated with depression, but researchers can’t find definitive evidence as to why.

There are lots of tasty ways to fit it into your diet. Food sources of vitamin B12 include lean beef, clams, oysters, crab, wild salmon, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, and fortified cereals.

5. Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because your body can make it by using cholesterol and absorbing natural sunshine. Your mood may improve with as little as 10 minutes of sun exposure. This is why light therapy is an important treatment for SAD. Your body can also absorb vitamin D through food.

Food sources of vitamin D include milk, egg yolks, and fish that have bones. You can also get vitamin D in supplement form.

6. Chocolate has always been a tasty and good way to self-medicate through down times. But a Hershey’s bar or pint of chocolate ice cream isn’t the best way to do it. 

Participants in a study were given a dark chocolate mixed drink every day for a month. Results showed significantly improved mood, which researchers linked with a high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant. 

When you're feeling down, pick up a bar with the highest cocoa content you can find.

7. Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan and melatonin, the calming and relaxing chemicals that makes you tired after Thanksgiving dinner.

Tapping into turkey’s calming powers is a great, natural way to help your body cut through stressful situations.

8. Like turkey, bananas contain tryptophan. Besides that, the carbohydrates, natural sugars, and potassium in bananas help fuel your brain. Magnesium, also found in bananas, may improve sleep and reduce anxiety, two symptoms of seasonal depression

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