Our mood and food share an extremely intimate correlation between them, said Eshanka Wahi, wellness advocate and founder of Eat Clean with Eshanka. She added that while many people think serotonin, the hormone that helps stabilises one’s mood, sleep, feelings, is created in our brain, “90 per cent of it is produced in the gut and then transmitted to our brain through neurotransmitters, which results in stabilizing our mood.”
“Hence, increasing the intake of foods that induce serotonin production can effectively help in lifting our mood. The key to combining mood maintenance with good nutrition is eating enough of the right foods that boost your mood and restricting the ones that make you feel low,” she told indianexpress.com.
So, here are some food items that you can include in your diet that will surely help you with your mood.
“Eating more fruits is linked to lower rates of depression. Diet rich in antioxidants manages inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders. Berries carry a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that play a vital role in combating oxidative stress — an imbalance of harmful compounds in your body. Berries are rich in disease-fighting anthocyanins, which lower the risk of depression,” she shared.
Eating dark chocolate improves your mood and makes you feel calmer and happier. Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, the chemicals in our brain that create feelings of happiness and pleasure. Dark chocolate increase blood flow to your brain, reduces inflammation, and boosts brain health, all of which support mood regulation.
Salmon is enriched with omega 3 fatty acids which help improve our mood. “Omega 3 fatty acids play a vital role in the manufacturing of our body’s cells. It makes our hair and skin shiny and boosts immunity. People who eat fish rich in omega 3 tend to experience increased feelings of contentment and are usually in a happier mood,” she said.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds consist of tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, as well as almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, are great sources. They are a large component of the diet that supports a healthy body and brain.
Spinach contains magnesium, which creates a positive impact on serotonin levels and boosts your mood. People who are low in magnesium tend to be linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
“Also, eating foods that contain an essential amino acid known as tryptophan helps the body to increase serotonin production. Tryptophan is especially found in foods that consist of protein such as eggs, poultry, etc. These food items also naturally boost serotonin production.
“Endorphin is another happy hormone and some of the foods that stimulate the production of endorphins and encourage feelings of happiness and pleasure are ashwagandha, pepper, and chillies,” she said.