Our mood is affected by our diet. This may seem like an odd statement but the data proves it clearly. Eating the right things can impact how we feel for the rest of the day and this is especially true for people with more fragile moods, like people battling depression, bipolar and other mental disorders. By creating a diet around these foods that have been proven to live mood, we are setting the stage to live a happier life, enjoy a more stable relationship with our family and friends and generally feel better about ourselves. Here are a few foods with the most potency to influence our moment-to-moment mood as well as our general outlook on life over the long term:
You may have heard this somewhere before, that eating chocolate will improve mood and reduce stress. It is true. There is a growing body of evidence that actually supports this claim. But ingesting any random chocolate bar found in your local supermarket isn’t going to do it though. If you’re eating chocolate for the purpose of maintaining a positive mood, the recommended variety is dark chocolate, pure dark chocolate, nothing else. This may be connected to the fact that natural chocolate is rich in antioxidants and helps the body to reduce stress hormones including the notorious serotonin.
Fruits, Vegetables and whole foods
Eating healthy, whole foods has always been the main recommendation of all self-respecting nutritionists. To a great degree, there is a general agreement on this, and for many reasons. One of the many benefits of investing in a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods is its effect on the mood. In a recent study of close to 3500 men and women, those who reported a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grain in the previous year were found to be less likely to report depression than those who ate desserts, fried foods, processed meats, refined grains and high-fat dairy products. Other studies have shown that the high antioxidant content of these foods help promote the production of brain chemicals such as serotonin and limit stress hormone production, resulting in a much happier life and indeed a more healthy one.
Oily fish and fish oils are a rich and recognized source of omega-3 fats which as vital in preventing inflammation in the brain and reducing the production and effect of stress hormones that lead directly to depression especially in people with mental and bipolar disorders. A particular acid in fish oil called DHA is important in a phenomenon in the brain called neuroplasticity, where the brain is able to keep producing dendrites. This omega-3 fat works especially in the brain to maintain balance and discourage the production of stress hormones. This is why individuals with bipolar disorders are frequently placed on fish oil supplementation because not only does the DHA calm things down in the brain, it also provides the right environment for medication such as lithium orotate to be effective in cancelling depression and stress when it is administered.
Avocado benefits are quite far-reaching, especially in the brain department. Avocados are natural hormone balancers, and hormone balance is the key to all mental, emotional and physical balance. Avocados help to make sure that the right chemicals are being produced by the brain to help it feel great all the time and function in a state of balance. The avocado is one fruit that boosts mood more effectively than most other healthy choices and more than even prescriptions. The best of this fruit is that it tastes great and will blend well with different recipes, making it easy to incorporate into our diet.
Juicy grapes are the perfect carry-along snack. They are also packed with antioxidants and flavonoids that work to improve the mood. It is always much more effective to consume grapes in their raw natural form rather than in red wine especially if you’re looking to lift your mood because red wine is alcohol and alcohol is a well-known depressant. Not only do fresh grapes lift your mood, their concentration of antioxidants also helps build protection for your body against disease when consumed over a long period.
Even though we have discussed the benefits of fish and fish oils previously, it is noteworthy to mention this particular fish. Salmon that was caught in the wild typically contains double of the required dose of vitamin B-12, which is effective against depression, stress and the production of stress-inducing hormones in the brain. A study found that the patients with the highest levels of B-12 were the most successful at combatting depression. Also, salmon provides your body with a pack of mood-stabilizing essential fatty acids that help maintain balance in the brain to keep you energized and generally cheerful.
The best source of natural antidepressants with negligible side effects, unsurprisingly, is in nature, these foods represent the finest selection of naturally occurring brain balancing substances that also contribute in good measure to the general well being of the body and immunity against disease.
The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counselling.