Mood enhancing foods are not just some whimsical idea. The foods you take in on a daily basis can make a big impact on not just your waistline, but on how you feel. With winter fast approaching and the days growing shorter, many of us find our fuse shortening as well. Irritation, moodiness and depression, or the winter blues (also known as seasonal affective disorder), affect as many as 6 out of 100 Americans each year. If you’re feeling the winter doldrums, or if you’re just down in the dumps, the solution may be as close as your refrigerator door. Try these mood enhancing foods for more energy, better health and even an extra dose of happiness.
Mood enhancing food from the sea: The Mussel. This hard-shelled saltwater dweller not only cooks up for a tasty delicacy, but it contains several trace elements that help maintain a positive mood, such as iodine, zinc and selenium. These elements nourish your thyroid, a gland that controls the production of hormones that affect your weight, energy and mood.
A better mood in a cup: Coffee. Although not technically a food, the grounds from this powerful little bean (the coffee bean) delivers a lot of mood-boosting power. A nerve chemical in your brain called adenosine can block certain brain chemicals that boost energy. The caffeine in coffee effectively absorbs adenosine, allowing you to experience a pleasant rush of energy, along with better focus and more of a feeling of alertness-the perfect way to perk up your day!
This mood enhancing food has a peel (appeal): The Orange. Sweet, juicy and succulent, oranges come loaded with iron, which promotes healthy red cell production that maintains your energy level, and mood-boosting Vitamin C, which can alleviate feelings of depression and enhance your immune system function, thus helping you avoid or more quickly ward off those unpleasant winter sniffles, colds and flus.
Feeling blue? Go green: Broccoli. Ultra light on the calories, fat and carbs, this dieter’s delight also serves up lots of good stuff in the mood department. Not only high in fiber, which helps alleviate digestive problems that can sour your disposition, broccoli is also rich in folate, which can diminish feelings of depression and help boost your mood.
Mood enhancing food from the candy aisle: Dark Chocolate. It’s creamy, delicious and arguably the best thing to ever happen to deserts. Not surprisingly, it’s a major mood booster. The caffeine in dark chocolate blocks adenosine and enables that pleasant rush of energy to your brain. Dark chocolate also contains the chemical phenylalanine, which stimulates dopamine and serotonin production in the brain, both of which enhance mood.
Boost your mood with a spoon: Yogurt. Yogurt contains good bacteria, or probiotics, that helps promote digestion. This creamy dairy product also packs a wallop of calcium, a mineral that not only builds strong bones and promotes good heart and muscle health, but has been shown to alleviate feelings of moodiness and depression.
Mood enhancing foods, when eaten regularly, can add up to a happier and healthier you. So nosh, dine, sip and stock up on these mood enhancers — they’ll help you start and end each day with a smile.
Sources for “Mood Enhancing Foods:”
- http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/07/23/ajcn.112.056366 Vitamin C)
- http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/HEALTHbeat_030309.htm (dark chocolate)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20172476 (thyroid)
- http://www.uvm.edu/~sadstudy/?Page=about.html (SAD info)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810582/ (folate link to depression)
- http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/cognition.html (calcium)
- http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2012/January/what-is-it-about-coffee (coffee, adenosine)
Originally posted 2013-11-21 10:36:43.