Guest Post by Jana Hartley, RN
Are you a moody foodie? Of course you are! Certain types of food affect our mood, our energy level, our ability to concentrate and our stress levels. Studies suggest that eating specific types of foods can improve your mood.
- Carbs are not all bad! Carbohydrates release serotonin in the brain that make us feel more relaxed and calm. Choose healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas which are great complex carb choices to boost your mood.
- Lean protein improves your brain function. The amino acids in protein rich foods help your body produce epinephrine, nor-epinephrine and dopamine. These powerful brain chemicals increase your alertness and memory. Good choices for lean protein are tofu, fish, eggs and poultry.
- Omega-3’s help to fight feelings of depression and sadness. They also help brain function. Salmon, herring and walnuts are good choices to omega 3 mood boosters.
- Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid have been shown to be deficient in people with depression. These super nutrients are important in helping our bodies produce serotonin as well. Spinach is packed full of these nutrients and is wonderful in a salad, on a sandwich or stirred into hot soups.
- Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because we can get vitamin D directly from sun exposure. Vitamin D helps to give you a sunny disposition as well and is another mood-boosting nutrient that produces serotonin release in the brain. Milk and salmon are good sources of vitamin D when the sun is in hiding for the winter season.
Being a moody foodie can be a good thing. It is just a matter of choosing the right foods to help improve our mood and feelings of well being. The next time you are feeling a little anxious, grab an apple to munch on. Then, watch your mood improve!
Read more from A Doctor and a Nurse.
What food do you reach for when your mood drops? Comment below and talk about it on Facebook!
Photo 1 courtesy of cagrimmett via Flickr (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Photo 2 courtesy of iStockphoto