Mood Boosting Foods
WOULD you love to really boost your mood naturally. I often hear in clinic clients desiring a natural way to lift moods. I talk a lot about gut health, meditation, mindfulness and mindset to elevate moods. Today we are going to look at some of my mood boosting foods & uncover why they work in lifting your spirits. So let’s dive deeper into how we can really support your health & wellness by improving your digestion & how good nutrition is going to lift, support and elevate your mood.
What we eat ultimately impacts everything, how we feel, the energy we have in our body, how our brain is able to function, how our bodies will absorb nutrients, and food will stimulate our mood. Hormones are produced from your Gut & your GI tract needs support and nourishment.
I’ve been working with a lot of clients recently helping with anxiety & blue moods & one key thing we have changed and introduced is the whole-foods nutrition, which heavily impacts how we feel. To support your feel good hormones, we need to look at the health of your gut microbiome. Ensuring that you are on a good pre & probiotics to support digestion and absorption of nutrients will help also. The vagus nerve sits in the digestive tract & has just as many neutrons as your brain, so supporting your mood is so strongly linked to what you are eating & nourishing your body with.
So which feel good hormone will we look at today?
Serotonin. Serotonin transmits messages between nerve cells & largely contributes to your wellbeing & happiness. As the precursor for melatonin, (which regulates your sleep cycle). It plays a key role in appetite, autonomic & cognitive functions & emotions. As a health & wellness coach I have spoken a lot about breathe work & meditation to lift your serotonin levels in my blogs, but today we are going to look at the nutrition side of lifting your mood naturally.
Here are some foods that I love for mood lifting & why….
Oily fish is amazing for supporting your mood. The brain is predominately made up of fat & it loves good fats to supports its function.
Giving your brain fatty oily healthy foods filled with omegas helps the brain effectively send messages and allows the neurotransmitters to fire well. Bye Bye brain fog when we have used the anti in omega 3 & 6’s in your diet. Salmon, sardines & Mackeral are amongst my favourites.
For me, a staple food in my diet is Oats!!! They are a great mood-booster, why you ask? A large reason why we get dips in moods and how we feel is closely related to unstable blood sugar. Allowing for a smooth flowing blood sugar that is nice and balanced is looking at low Glycemic Index, as lo GI foods release energy slowly and keeps your blood sugars nice and stable. Avoid foods that give you a quick boost of energy, like fried foods, sugary carbs as you will experience a dip in mood just as fast as it peaks. Oats also are punched with selenium. Lo selenium has been proven to be low in a lot of patients with depression and mood swings & irritability.
Brazil nuts also have a great amount of selenium, this mineral will help stimulate the moods. Grab a few to snack early in the mid-morning, avoid eating them after midday as they can be quite heavy to digest through the evening.
Another easy amazing natural mood booster is the faithful banana. Banana’s are full of amazing vitamins such as B6, A, Iron, Potassium, fibre & phosphorus. The amino acid tryptophan supports and lifts the mood lifting hormone serotonin which allows the brain to raise the feel good response, which ultimately impacts energy, vitality & lowering symptoms of anxiety. This amino acid is also great for patients with aiding sleep & settling insomnia.
You ultimately really want to focus on some foods that are going to give stable blood sugar and energy production like complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates allow the brain to produce serotonin, your feel good hormone, we want to keep your mood stable, as we desire to keep your blood sugar stable. When this occurs in the body, you are less likely to emotionally eat & grab foods that give a quick fix of energy & are not going to sustain you. Lentils are another great complex carb, they are high in iron & folate which have been proven to help symptoms of depression & anxiety.
I love lightly steaming greens, amongst my top picks are spinach, broccoli & kale. Vitamin B deficiencies are strongly linked to depression & anxiety. So increasing Vit B levels in your body is going to enhance your mood. Serotonin production is hindered if you’re body does not have an adequate amount of Vit B. There are other vitamins that work synergistaclly in the body, including Folate & ensuring that you don’t just focus on one B, and allow for a complex of each B6, B3 & B 12. They are power couples together & really need to go together to work efficiently.
And the really obvious but forgotten one that I always bang on about WATER!!!! Its free and beautiful, yet we all need reminding to drink it daily. Your wellbeing is going to benefit greatly by drinking purified filtered water. As your body is 70% water, if it is dehydrated every organ in your body can not function as it is designed to. So to support good nutrition, peristalsis in the bowel (Excreting/ Pooing properly is a whole other article related to moods that I will write soon for you) we need to drink water to eliminate properly, to excrete toxins out of the body & to allow your brain to function. Sometimes one glass of water will instantly fix brain fog or lethargy.
Hope you feel inspired to grab some of these foods & incorporate them into your diet to lift your moods naturally, Kellee Thomson