Every day we eat a variety of different foods, but many do not contribute to our overall health or even make us feel better. The smallest choices each day can make a real difference in improving mental and emotional well-being, stabilizing your moods and improving your focus. The following foods are some of the healthiest options you should incorporate in your daily diet that will definitely make you feel good after a long hard day.
Asparagus is essential not only because it tastes good added to a salad or cooked on the grill or, but because it does wonders for your health.
Sure, asparagus has skinny, flexible stalks, but that doesn’t mean it’s weak on nutrients. It’s full of antioxidants that are known to protect our cells from damage and low in calories! Having a lot of mood swings lately?
Get some asparagus on your plate, because it is very rich in folic acid — a deficiency that is common in people who suffer from depression. It is suggested to eat more asparagus when you feel depressed. One cup contains a whopping 66% of your daily recommended intake of folate, and low levels of this acid in the body have been linked with low mood.
2. Flaxseed oil
If you have a mood disorder or depression, you will benefit from incorporating omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
Many studies have shown that the type of fat that you eat is linked to your state of mind. Same studies have shown that consuming flaxseed oil on a daily basis will improve your energy and your quality of sleep.
The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in flax seed oil will make you happier. Consuming flax seed oil on a daily basis has many health benefits. To experience these benefits, all you need to do is take the recommended dosage of flaxseed oil daily. The easiest way to consume flax seed oil is to mix it into your food or drinks.
Honey has been used as treatment for depression for hundreds of years. There is a good evidence reported by people that it makes them feel better.
The Romans used it to enhance their mood apart from deriving many other health benefits. Honey is sweet and has natural sugar. When consumed, it will give you instant energy and much positive change one’s moods and depressed feelings.
It is a good mood lifter and can be eaten on its own, or mixed with water, milk, tea or yogurt and any other fresh juice drink. The nutrients in honey produce a calming effect, helpful if you feel anxious, which is why many mixes it into a cup of tea at night. A natural sweetener, it’s also a great natural energy booster, so if you feel like you’re dragging, eat a spoonful. Honey is nature’s energy gel.
While some people think oatmeal is one of the most boring foods on earth, it’s good for your mental state. That’s thanks to many things, including high levels of magnesium, which help your brain fight anxiety and depression.
Because it’s also a great source of soluble fiber, it helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, which helps you to manage your mood swings. There’s no better way to start your day than with a warm bowl of oatmeal.
Not just that the fiber in oatmeal will help you feel full longer, but it will also help your heart by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs. And even more, you can make your breakfast even more special by mixing a variety of healthy toppings. You will feel good from the inside out.
5. Pumpkin seeds
While pumpkin seeds are good for the body, they can also help the mind. A number of studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil can help to eliminate headaches, hot flashes and enhance moodiness in postmenopausal ladies.
An amino acid rich in pumpkin seeds can help relieve anxiety. Tryptophan is used by our body to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter which improves our mood as well as encourages well-being within the brain. De-oiled pumpkin seed used along with glucose might be good at dealing with depressive disorders also it may help with dealing with social anxiety.
Speaking of mood-enhancers, a current report suggests that pumpkin might help improve libido too. A zinc deficiency can trigger depression, but fortunately, pumpkin seeds contain all the essential minerals. Pumpkin seeds also have L-tryptophan, a natural mood booster.
Kale is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to consume kale for its exemplary health benefits, because just one cup provides you with the recommended daily amount of vitamins K, C and A.
And even more, you also get a serving of protein, fiber, and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Chowing down on this leafy vegetable can also make you feel better because kale is packed with folate, which directly impacts how you are feeling.
A number of studies have shown that folate, which is also referred to as B9 or folic acid, supports our body’s serotonin regulation. Serotonin then sends signals between your nerve cells, which helps your body determine your mood and regulate your behavior.
Fatty fish such as salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines, and tuna are packed with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which scientists believe may help protect against depression.
WebMD explains that omega 3s can boost your mood because they directly impact the neurotransmitter pathways in your brain. Mood or anxiety issues can result if the pathways that connect particular brain regions don’t run efficiently.
It also states that people who consume fish less than once a week have almost a third higher chance of mild to moderate depression, particularly if compared to people who frequently consumed fish. Ready to incorporate your fatty acid intake? It is recommended to eat fish three times a week. Try not to overindulge in fresh tuna, because it’s a high-mercury food.
Contrary to popular belief, carbs aren’t harmful to your diet. In fact, they can actually make you feel better. A number of studies have shown that eating carbohydrates stimulates your body’s serotonin production.
Serotonin is a chemical that helps suppresses your appetite and elevate your mood. On the flip side, if you stop consuming carbs, your brain stops regulating that key compound. Interestingly, another study has found that the brain only makes serotonin after someone consumes sweet or starchy carbs.
When serotonin is produced and becomes active in the brain, its effect on your appetite is to make you feel satiated before your stomach is stretched and stuffed. Serotonin is important not only to help control your appetite and stop you from overeating; it’s important in keeping your moods regulated.
9. Dark chocolate
If you need another reason to eat chocolate, here’s one: dark chocolate can make you feel better. If you crave chocolate when you feel stressed or down, there is no need to feel guilty.
This tasty treat can help reduce our body’s stress hormones. Additionally, a study explains that cocoa polyphenols, a micronutrient that acts as an antioxidant, can affect our moods.
The same study found that those who drank a polyphenol-filled chocolate once a day, which is about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate, said they felt happier than those who didn’t partake in a daily cocoa intake. Cocoa boosts brain serotonin levels. Almost every single antidepressant aims at either keeping serotonin in the brain longer or enhancing it. Chocolate or cocoa does that very well.
Mussels contain vitamin B12, making it an essential, must-eat food. This vitamin plays a key role in protecting the brain.
When you are able to maintain healthy B12 vitamin levels, you are also preserving the myelin sheath, which insulates your brain cells and keeps your brain in a good shape. Furthermore, mussels contain trace nutrients such as zinc, iodine, and selenium, which can balance your mood.
These important nutrients keep your thyroid (your body’s mood regulator), running at its best. The thyroid gland makes and regulates thyroid hormones, which can affect your energy levels, mood, and even weight. Eating mussels is a good way to get a healthy B12 vitamin serving and ensure your thyroid is in tip-top shape. Mussels are cheap, easy to cook, and quite delicious.
Daily intake of probiotic bacteria keeps your gut running at its best. A recent study found that a healthy gut can also mean a happy mood.
The calcium in yogurt and other dairy products will help you to decrease stress, avoid the wandering mind when trying to get to sleep, and help you fall asleep more quickly.
When eaten as a nighttime food you’re also introducing good bacteria to your digestive system, which will be hard at work when you sleep. You can find calcium in other dairy products as well, like cheese or milk, but yogurt seems to be better tolerated as a bedtime food because it can curb your appetite long enough to fall asleep without struggling with hunger pains.
Stewed, boiled, or pressed into a patty for burgers, tossed into a salad or sprouted, sauteed, the lentil is a versatile powerhouse.
Lentils contain all of the ingredients that the American fast food industry and unhealthy fast-paced dietary lifestyles tend to neglect. Lentils are also rich in folate which is very important for your mood.
A cup of cooked lentils has 90 % of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid. So, the next time you are feeling depressed, don’t go to your doctor to look for the next pill for a quick fix, because pharmaceutical drugs have a damaging effect on the brain. The more balanced are your meals, the more balanced is your functionality and overall health. So eat lentils regularly, because what better and cheaper way is to do so?
Almonds are packed with a lot of nutrients, including magnesium and folate. Magnesium has been named a miracle mineral because of its multifunctional benefits.
In addition to being an essential part of about 300 biological processes, magnesium helps in the production of energy, relaxes muscles, relieves stress and anxiety, supports the immune system, improves sleep patterns and boosts mood.
Magnesium is important to brain health, and many studies have linked it to a reduction of depression, but unfortunately it is not consumed enough in modern diets. Almonds also contain calcium, being the main mineral constituent of our body. It is used for toning up bones and muscles and preventing health problems like osteoporosis. Most of the B-complex vitamins such as B-6, riboflavin, thiamin and pantothenic acid are obtained from these nuts.So eat more of those almonds!
These tree nuts are packed with nutrients that can help in improving mental health including magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan.
The tryptophan in cashews can boost your brain’s production of the serotonin, which promotes a healthy sleep and stable mood. Cashews are an excellent source of magnesium, containing more than other nuts such as almonds. A higher magnesium intake is associated with better mental health.
Magnesium is also important for your body to build strong and healthy bones. You probably know that when your body becomes low in magnesium, you’ll definitely start to have many different health problems such as fatigue, migraine headaches, muscle spasms, and even higher blood pressure, because magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, something that many people take by prescription to help with their blood pressure.
Eggs contain protein, as well as minerals and vitamins that make them a healthy choice. Mixing in other nutritious ingredients, like vegetables, boosts even more their nutritional value.
Proteins support proper cell function, maintain your body’s hormone balance and nourish your muscles. They also increase satiety and aid in weight loss. They are high in thyroid and energy supporting vitamins and minerals such as selenium iodine and b vitamins.
A really good source of protein and no longer believed to cause high cholesterol levels. Scrambled, poached, boiled, or omelet…all will keep you full and happier. Because of their essential fatty acids, they help your body in the natural production of serotonin. Low serotonin levels are linked to anxiety, insomnia, depression and fatigue.