Many people resort to ice cream or chocolates to calm their spirits after a downer, such as heartbreak. However, sugary treats that may seem essential to move on, can have some harmful consequences in the long run.
There is enough research to suggest that what we eat affects not just our physical health, but also our mental wellbeing. A balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and flavours can develop feelings of wellbeing. Reports have suggested that individuals who ate more fruits and vegetables experienced a high level of happiness and wellbeing. On the other hand, factors such as bad lifestyle choices and, subsequently, poor nutrition can affect mental health.
Here are some healthy food options which can boost your mood in an instant.
Yes, you can feel free to gorge yourself on some premium quality dark to combat a downer. Dark chocolate has many mood-boosting compounds like caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine. These compounds have been linked to an improved mood. Research has shown that dark chocolate helps increase blood flow to the brain, reduce inflammation and boost brain health. Its taste, texture and smell generally pleases all and is extremely effective in promoting a good mood.
Fish for Omega-3 fatty acids
Only obtainable through diet because our body can’t produce it on its own, Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats effective in lowering levels of depression. Two types of Omega-3s, DHA and EPA, in fatty fish like tuna and salmon play a huge role in upping your mood. Nowadays, there are Omega-3 supplements available in the market for those who find it difficult to consume fish in its original form. Although, the best way is to include fish in your diet at least twice a week.
You must have seen tennis players grab a banana in between sets in a game. High in Vitamin B6, bananas help synthesise some neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. This keeps the players up and running during a game. With an intake of banana, sugar is slowly released into your system resulting in better sugar levels and a stable mood. Women especially benefit from the fruit on a monthly basis, i.e., when they are menstruating and struggling with mood swings and irritability due to low blood sugar levels. A banana with green peel is a wonderful source of prebiotics that helps feed healthy bacteria in your gut and lowers mood disorders.
Ever wondered why people crave coffee when working? This is because the caffeine in coffee prevents the naturally occurring compound – adenosine from attaching to brain transmitters and causing tiredness. A cuppa coffee increases alertness and attention. Like bananas, coffee also releases the same neurotransmitters. Other than the placebo effect that occurs when we sip on some coffee, research shows that it also contains some other compounds that influence mood.
Go nuts over nuts!
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats and fibre. They provide amino acids responsible for mood-boosting serotonin. While providing wholesome food for a healthy brain, they reduce your intake of processed items. Also, their supply of zinc and selenium for an efficient brain function reduces the risk of depression.
More veggies and less red meat consumption
People who have a high intake of red meat show more signs of depression and anxiety. A steak might temporarily suffice your taste buds and boost your mood but hampers your overall health in the long run. That is when meat alternatives like plant-based meat by Future Farm can come to your rescue. Created by soy, lentils, starches and fats, plant-based meat mimics the taste and flavours of meat but not the risks associated with it.
When you aim for wholesome foods, you boost your mental and physical health. Don’t sacrifice your safety for some meagre sugar rush!