Improve Your Mood By Eating these Foods
Many of us, at times, develop this unusual propensity to be irritated without any reason or rhyme and as we grope for the reason of such irrational behavior unsuccessfully, we often end up becoming more irritated or even depressed. During such times, you may take a look at what you eat.
Nutrition experts believe that your diet can have a direct bearing on your moods both in the short term and long term.
Your blood sugar level is crucial to make you feel good and active. If it fluctuates too often, especially between meals, then chances are that you will feel lethargic and dull. This can also happen when you are hungry because of an unhealthy diet or have constipation due to lack of water and fiber in your foods.
A healthy and disease-free body also holds the key to your mental well being. For instance, nutrients keep inflammation in the body at bay and help blood circulation to all the vital organs inside the body. Some important nutrients also influence the level of serotonin or the feel good hormone in the body.
In this connection, Diane M. Becker MPH, ScD, director of the Center for Health Promotion at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine opines, “Eating a heart healthy food, such as foods with high doses of fiber and less of the saturated fats undoubtedly, goes a long way in elevating your mood. Similarly, people, who regularly take foods rich in fat, tend to be physically sluggish as well as mentally dull.”
6 ways to improve your moods through your diets:
1. Go for a diet rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid (folate)
Edward Reynolds, MD, at the Institute of Epileptology, King’s College, London, reveals that folic acid (folate) and vitamin B12 seems to prevent loss of memory, occurrence of mood swings and problems in the central nervous system. So, you should take plenty of foods rich in these two vitamins like chili with ample kidney beans and lean beef, chicken, roman lettuce or grilled salmon.
A study conducted among men in Japan also testifies that a higher food intake of diets rich in folic acid and vitamin B12 is related to the prevention of depression. So, this phenomenon is true in people of most of the cultures with different eating habits. While the beans and green vegetables contain folic acid, fish, poultry, mean and dairy products contain vitamin B12. Other foods that contain them include –
- Salad of spinach with crab or salmon.
- Omelet prepared with less cheese but stuffed with spinach.
- Burrito prepared with chicken, pork or beef and stuffed with black beans.
2. Have big helpings of fruits and vegetables
Taking plenty of fruits and vegetables helps in fighting mood disorders and dementia. They are rich in vital nutrients and anti-oxidants phyto-chemicals that are essential for the overall health of the body.
A study pointed out that people, who regularly took two or more servings of fruits and vegetables are healthier and fitter. In fact, they are likely to have an 11 percent of higher state of health than others.
3. Take foods containing selenium regularly
Selenium is an important ingredient that our body needs. Studies show that it also helps in fighting depression. This was shown during the study conducted in a group of elderly people. While some of them were administered with 200 micrograms of selenium in their diets, the others were given placebo. It was revealed that those who took selenium showed remarkable improvement in their bouts of depression.
It is recommended that every men and woman should take around 55 micrograms of selenium in a day. It is found in wholegrain. So, one should take brown rice, oat mean, whole-grain bread from where you get as much as 70 micrograms of selenium. Lean meat like turkey, beef, skinless chicken, bean and legumes, nuts and seeds also have it. You can also get it from sea foods like crab, fish, oysters and low fat dairy foods to get it.
4. Include fish in your meals
Studies have pointed that taking high amount of fish, especially fishes like salmon that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids lowers the risks of depression.
Jay Whelan, PhD, head of the department of nutrition at the University of Tennessee says that Omega-3, which is found in fish, seems to alleviate the problems of mood swings, commonly associated with post partum depression. Herring, Tuna, Salmon, Sardines, Rainbow trout contain good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Expose yourself to sun rays to get Vitamin D
Research studies have revealed that four mood disorders can occur, when there is a low serum levels vitamin D in the body. The disorders are PMS, non-specified mood disorder, seasonal affective disorder and major depressive disorder.
In this connection, Pamela K. Murphy, PhD, at the Medical University of South Carolina and researcher says, “By having at least 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D in a day, it would be easier to manage your mood swings.”
This is much higher than the RDA for vitamin D. The recommended RDA for vitamin D is 200 IU for adults, who are less than 50 years of age, 400 IU for those, who are between 50 to 70 years of age and 600 IU for people, who are more than 70 years of age.
Since, not many foods contain vitamin D in sufficient measures, she advises to get it from different sources like diets that contain vitamin D, sun exposures and vitamin supplements. Beef liver, egg yolks, cheese and fishes like tuna, salmon and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D, although in our daily diets, we mostly get it from breads, cereals, milk and juices.
6. Allow yourself treats of 1 oz of chocolates
Becker at Johs Hopkins says, “Small doses of dark chocolates affect the levels of brain endorphins – the chemicals that promote the feel-good emotions.” The dark chocolate also acts as an anti-clogging agent and is good for the heart.
Researches conducted among men in Netherlands showed that the blood pressure level as well as risks of cardiac disease is lowered in case of those, who took 1/3rd of a chocolate bar every day.
While some foods can elevate your mood, you may also feel lethargic and dull if you consume certain foods.
You can lessen the deleterious effects of three such foods that dampen your moods in the following ways
1. Lessen the amount of saturated fats in your foods
It has been established since long that saturated fats in foods, may be responsible for cardiac ailment and cancer. At present, studies reveal that they may also be responsible for creating depression.
Research studies, known as Coronary Health Improvement Project, conducted among 348 people in the age group of 24 to 81 suggested that reduction in the consumption of saturated fats by them over a period of one and half month also lead to the reduction of the symptoms of depression..
2. Moderate your alcohol consumption
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol in fact, is a depressant. Although it creates a feeling of well-being for some time, it makes you dull later by affecting the nerve cells and brain. And with high amount of intake, people pass from the state of relaxation and euphoria to a condition, when their physical and mental make-up is inhibited.
Due to this reason, there is the occurrence of disruptive disorders due to substance abuse. The prime form of substance abuse prevalent in the society is alcohol.
3. Don’t take too much of caffeine
Caffeine can affect your mood in the following ways –
- The amount of caffeine you take in the day would make you feel enervated and irritated. The problems get compounded as caffeine also disrupts your sleep during the night, which makes you more exhausted and dull.
- Although you feel energetic by consuming caffeine, the effect is temporary and soon you would feel lethargic and inactive.
The detrimental effects of caffeine are more pronounced on some people. If you happen to be one of them, limit your intake of tea, coffee and sodas. It may help you to be in good spirit and active, especially in the evening.