Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Discover the top mood-boosting foods
Changing my diet changed my life. It helped lift my depression and eliminate my anxiety, which improved my relationships and allowed me to experience much more joy than I thought possible.
Who knew food was that powerful?!
There is so much to share on this topic. Let's start with the Top Mood-boosting Food Properties:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Your brain is 60% fat! Growing evidence suggests that deficiencies specifically in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to mental health symptoms and diagnoses.
A great way to up your natural intake is to consume oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Plants are a great source too, including chia, hemp, Brussels sprouts, walnuts and flaxseeds.
2. Folate: Folate is a very important water-soluble B vitamin responsible for supporting the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are critical for mood.
Several studies have found that there is a decreased risk of depression with a greater consumption of folate-rich vegetables and fruits like asparagus, black-eyed peas, spinach, artichoke, avocado, beans, lentils and broccoli.
3. Vitamin D: Our bodies naturally make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sunshine. Unfortunately, over 1 billion people are deficient in this important vitamin!
Several studies suggest that Vitamin D3 increases levels of serotonin in our brain, which improves our mood. Mood disorders like Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression and other mental illnesses have been linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Foods that contain natural vitamin D are mushrooms, salmon, shrimp, cod, egg yolk, and oysters.
4. Prebiotics and Probiotics: Our digestive health is one of the most important factors in our mental health.
Your microbiome in your gut is made up of good and bad bacteria. Too much bad bacteria can lead to many health issues including depression and anxiety. A balanced microbiome of good and bad bacteria improves the communication between your stomach and your brain (gut-brain axis), which controls how you feel stress and happiness.
You feed your own healthy bacteria with prebiotics like: artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, chicory, cabbage, asparagus, legumes and oats.
You can populate your gut with new healthy bacteria with probiotics found in fermented foods like: kefir, buttermilk, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and pickled vegetables.
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