Mood Enhancing Foods!

Food and mood, eating a poor diet can damage your mood. One of the major factors in mood enhancing foods is serotonin. High levels of serotonin keep a person relaxed and calm, with high concentration levels. Serotonin is responsible for mood, sleep and appetite levels. Unhappy feelings can be caused by low serotonin levels. Foods with high levels of serotonin include turkey, chicken and fish. High fibre cereals, bananas and whole grain products can also boost mood.

Fat is important in good mood food categories. Foods with high fat content release endorphins (which makes the person happy). Remember to stick with healthy fats i.e. fish oils. Other good mood foods include those high in protein. Protein contains tyrosine which increases dopamine and norepinephrine levels – chemicals responsible for alertness and excitement.

Good mood foods also include foods high in essential vitamins and minerals. Lack of folic acid in the diet is a factor in depression. Foods high in folic acid include turkey, leafy vegetables and asparagus. A lack of selenium in diets can contribute to anxious, unhappy feelings. Foods rich in selenium include tuna, eggs and wholegrains.

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A list of mood enhancing foods include:

Salmon: Full of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is important for brain activity, energy production and circulation. Salmon is good for a healthy heart. Wild caught salmon contains double the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12. (Vitamin B12 consumption contributes to good mental health).

Bananas: rich in B vitamins and potassium which provide a more sustained release of energy. The vitamins and minerals in bananas enable you to feel full, slows down digestion and keep blood sugar levels stable.

Coconuts: oils in coconuts provide medium chain triglycerides, a type of fat that is turned into energy quickly and efficiently. Coconuts are used by the body to produce energy (rather than store it as fat). Coconuts prevent you from feeling sluggish.

Lentils: Lentils and other legumes i.e. chickpeas and kidney beans help stabilize blood glucose levels and prevent mid afternoon energy slumps. Having lentils at lunch will stretch your energy levels that bit further.

Eggs: a good source of protein and iron. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins which convert food into energy. With eggs you get sustainable energy which will last throughout the day.

Nuts: hazelnuts, almonds and cashews are high in magnesium which play a major role in the conversion of sugar into energy. Nuts are filled with fibre which keep blood sugar levels even. A handful or two of nuts is good to use as a snack. It is important to remember that nuts are high in calories and fat.

Asparagus: Low energy levels affect your mood. Asparagus is one of the best plant based sources of tryptophan which helps to create serotonin. Serotonin is one of the brain’s main mood regulating neurotransmitters. The high levels of folate in asparagus also contribute to feeling good.

I will write about bananas and interesting nutritional facts about them next week on my blog.Watch this space!

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