Changing Your Mood with Food

People have told us over and over again that a healthy diet is important, it’s a cliché for a reason. But in case you missed it, leading a healthy lifestyle and following a balanced diet is good for you.

This is usually where people through all the facts at you, right? Telling you that you’ll lose weight, boost your immunity and all that jazz. We won’t be doing that today, so you can stop rolling your eyes.

We’re looking at how foods can assist with alleviating the side effects of a busy and crazy life. Stress and anxiety are two things we’re all familiar with and finding ways of coping with the symptoms are important. The great news is that one of the ways to do so include choosing your foods more selectively. Of course, a diet alone is not sufficient in treating stress and anxiety, and if you are experiencing these symptoms for more than a few months, you may want to speak to your doctor.

What Foods Should You Eat More Of?

The first thing on your list of foods to eat is fish and this is due to the omega-3 fatty acids found in it. These fatty acids have been found to promote cognitive functioning and improve mental health. In the same breath, fish also contains omega 6 fatty acids. Unlike the omega 3 fatty acids, they can have the opposite effect on your mental health when consumed in excess. So, if you are looking to eat fish to alleviate any symptoms related to mental health, always check which fatty acids are present. Research suggests having fish as two of your weekly meals.

Eggs are another food to add to the list due to their protein and vitamin D content. They also contain an amino acid called tryptophan which is responsible for producing serotonin. This is the feel-good hormone in your brain, so promoting the production thereof is important as it can help improve sleep, reduce anxiety, regulate your mood, improve memory, and boost cognitive functioning.

The anti-inflammatory properties of yoghurt and the bacteria present are also helpful in the fight against symptoms of stress and anxiety. But if you’re really looking for a mood boosting food, there’s one that you’re sure to enjoy: chocolate.

Consuming 40g of dark chocolate has been found to reduce stress levels in women and the reason for this is the polyphenols and flavonoids present in the treat. They’re able to prevent cell death as well as neuroinflammation. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, and as mentioned earlier, this promotes the production of serotonin.

Other foods to include should be those rich in potassium as they can help restore electrolyte balance, manage blood pressure, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. We recommend pumpkin seeds as they’re rich in potassium as well as zinc, which is helpful in regulating emotions and assisting in nerve and brain development.

A Step in The Right Direction

This list is by no means extensive or aimed to treat any disorders. It is merely a guideline and offers a few helpful tips on coping with stress and anxiety by being more thoughtful about the foods that we choose to prepare and consume.