Are you feeling perpetually sad, depressed and miserable? The good news is that the list of cures is short – that is, therapy and your diet. Some folks suggest increasing the number of times you laugh in a day. While that cannot hurt, what you are not likely to hear is the affects certain foods can have on your mood. For example, certain foods are known to have properties that stimulate glands and hormones that trigger happiness. The following are some of these foods.
1. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is not the most common vegetable found in recipes these days. It’s a bummer because it contains a lot of magnesium, which is a very important ingredient in biochemical reactions resulting in increased energy levels. A recent study showed a possible correlation between low magnesium levels and high depression scores.
2. Sweet Potato
Folks with mood disorders are often treated with B6 and beta-carotene – both of which are found in sweet potatoes. Both provide mental health stability and B6 serves as a mood booster.
3. Cherry Tomatoes
In addition to looking much cuter than their larger “family members” of the same name, they are also known to prevent depression. Cherry tomatoes contain lycopene, which has the antioxidants responsible for improving our mood. Regular tomatoes also include this same compound. If they are cooked just enough to wrinkle their skins and in a healthy oil like virgin olive oil, coconut oil or canola, it will help release the lycopene so your body can absorb it.4.
4. Grass-Fed Beef
Technically, the cows are what are grass-fed – before they become beef. But you get the idea. When cows consume grass, they are happier cows. Their bodies contain more omegas than that of cows, which are fed grain. The omegas are known to prevent inflammation in bodies. The meat also contains creatine, an amino acid that has positive effects on females according to a study. Creatine is also known to help with problem solving by making the problem seem smaller (or more to its true size rather than inflated).
5. Blue Potatoes
Blue potatoes are not that common in the produce section of the normal grocery store. However, they do have anthocyanin, which are powerful antioxidants known to reduce inflammation of the brain and increasing short-term memory. The iodine found in the peel helps maintain a healthy thyroid gland.
After a Thanksgiving meal, it is common for one to experience what is called a “turkey coma.” The phenomenon is associated with the high amounts of tryptophan, which, when broken into serotonin, induce feelings of calm and helps the body produce sleep-inducing melatonin. However, if the tryptophan is going to work, as in reach your brain, you need to also consume carbohydrates (a.k.a. “stuffing).
While spinach has a number of health benefits (just ask Popeye) – it also provides help with one’s mental health. In addition to containing iron, spinach has high amounts of folic acid, which makes one feel happy. Folic acid also assists the immune system – helping us fight off bugs that try to zap our happiness.
8. Chamomile Tea
Adults known to take chamomile extract for eight weeks in a row had proven reductions in anxiety than those who took a placebo (as in, they think they took something but they did not). Chamomile is also known to increase the quality of sleep so the body gets the rest it needs to deal with daily stressors.
9. Whole Grain
As we all know, there are good carbs and bad carbs. The bad ones we avoid like the plague – the good ones help us fit off depression and anxious thoughts. The good carbs also provide energy and relieves the body of constipation. The selenium found in whole grains helps the immune system, fights off free radicals and disease.
In right amounts, cheese can be healthy. It contains zinc – a mineral proven to be helpful in fighting off depression. Our bodies don’t produce enough zinc on their own, so cheese is a fantastic source. It also helps with hair, skin, cell development and cognitive responses.
11. Red Beans
Beans are a great source of protein. They contain more antioxidants than blueberries. The amino acids in the protein and the iron help fight off mental disorders. Beans are also a great source of magnesium, which plays an important role in energy production. Magnesium helps deliver energy to the parts of the body that need it.
The next time you feel a bit down, try to eat a banana. They provide energy, help with cellular development and promote nervous system health. Chances are you might be low on Vitamin B and bananas are a great source of that!
Beetroot contain Uridine folate and magnesium – these nutrients are associated with fighting depression. They work as neurotransmitters, enhancing your mood.
Oysters are an excellent source of iodine, zinc and selenium. These all support the thyroid gland and stimulate healthy weight management.