The Food and Mood Connection
- which are the nutrients that help boost your mood,
- what is the role of transmitters and neurotransmitters in controlling your mood, and
- which foods are rich in different mood improving nutrients.
Food nutrients which help enhance your mood are:
Selenium, Magnesium, (PS), Choline, Ginseng, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 etc.
These nutrients exert direct influence on the various transmitters and neurotransmitters present within your body . Their role is to transmit messages within the brain and throughout the nervous system. Transmitters and neurotransmitters that have a direct control over your mood are :
Serotonin: Also known as the” Happiness Hormone “,it gives you the feeling of well-being.
Thianine: Gives you a natural tranquilizing effect, relaxes your brain, and reduces anxiety.
Dopamine: Helps guard against anxiety, depression, irritability and addiction.
CHP: Helps you feel satiated and behave in a proper manner. Also helps relieve you of hunger pangs.
Tryptophan: Helps give you a feeling of well-being.
Exorphins/(Omega3): Fights and reduces the risk of depression.
Foods That Help Improve Your Mood
- Shrimp (High in CHP)
CHP is common in fermented foods, fish or foods containing hydrolyzed proteins
- Fish (High in Omega3)
- Fresh Tuna
Exorphins/omega3 is a natural anti-depressant. Your brain needs it to form healthy cells.
Banana (A, B6, C, fiber, tryptophan, potassium, phosphorous, iron, carbs, proteins):
Popularly known as the good mood superfood, banana is the top food for improving your mood.
Green Tea (L-theanine ):
Take 2-3 cups of Green Tea to reduce your beta brain waves that make you tense so often.
Chocolate ( Amino Acids):
Gives you a joyful feeling. Chocolate directly effects a number of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphin that contribute to appetite and mood regulation. Due to two of its contents ,it acts on you like cannabis to bring about a feeling of euphoria for you. The amino acid(GAB)present in chocolate relieves you of tension and improves your mood .
Broccoli (B6,Folic Acid):
A super mood booster, broccoli contributes in defeating depression with its B6 resource .
Ice Cream (Protein):
Gives you a soothing effect like no other food. Protein rich ice cream boosts tyrosine levels in the brain resulting in a mood lifting effect.
Eggs (Protein, Omega3 fatty acids):
Are also excellent source of Vitamins B2,B5 and Vitamin D. Bring significant improvement in your mood.
Omega3/Uridine combination acts as an anti depressant. Moreover, walnuts also contain B6, Tryptophan, Folic acid and Protein which are all great mood lifters.
Research shows that Coffee has positive effects on your mood. Drinking coffee regularly brings more alertness and positivity .
The antioxidants in blueberries help to reduce stress. They also fight the free radicals which adversely effect your memory.
More Good Mood Foods
As variety is the spice of life, we suggest some more foods for improving your mood.
Brazil Nuts: are a good source of selenium, the mineral that wards off stress, anxiety and depression. A few Brazil nuts will help you remain in a cheerful mood the whole day.
Dark Leafy Greens: contain good amounts of fiber, iron and vitamin B. Both iron and Vitamin B boost the brain function and fight depression, irritability and exhaustion while the fiber content balances your sugar levels.
Oysters: are loaded with the mineral Zinc which helps give you a better sleep as well as relieve your anxiety. Oysters are a great food for improving your mood and staying calm under pressure.
Lentils: are rich in dilate , a Vitamin B that saves you from going into depression. Lentils are also a good source of Vitamin B6 which helps your body make neurotransmitters Serotonin and Dopamine ,both necessary for keeping depression at bay. So make lentils a part of your daily diet to remain in a good mood all the time.
Whole Grains: are a good source of Vitamins B1, B5, B6 and B12. B1 turns glucose into energy, B5 helps your brain in learning and memorizing,B6 helps convert tryptophan into Serotonin and B12 is vital for producing neurotransmitters. Consuming whole grains also helps keep your sugar levels under control.
Yogurt helps keep your gut bacteria under control. There us evidence that balanced gut bacteria is closely associated with better mood and less rusk of depression.
Oats are a great mood booster food as they give you a good supply of the mood improving mineral, Selenium .
Poultry provides your body with good amounts of protein which helps increase the release of two neurotransmitters, Dopamine and Norepinephrine . These two help elevate your mood for a long time after consuming poultry. So go ahead and make poultry a regular affair at your dining table.