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  • Writer's pictureCristina Macena

Foods for a Good Mood: Beat the Blues by Changing Your Diet

Although it isn’t always advisable to turn to food when you're feeling down, research shows that eating certain foods can have a positive effect on your mood.

Consider partaking of these foods when you’re feeling blue:

1. Omega-3. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against depression. Foods such as flaxseed, and walnuts are a great source of omega-3. There have been studies which suggest that omega-3 fatty acids positively affect neurotransmitter pathways.

2. Fiber. Eating foods rich in soluble fiber can help put you in a better mood. Soluble fiber helps balance blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood.

· Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, beans, citrus fruits, peas, strawberries, and apples.

3. Carbohydrates. Low-carb diets are very popular these days. Therefore, many individuals avoid carbohydrates altogether. However, eating certain kinds of carbohydrates can have many benefits.

· Avoid simple sugars that are found in sweets and processed foods. However, foods with complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down in the body can be very beneficial.

· Carbohydrates help your brain to use tryptophan, an amino acid found in some proteins. Once tryptophan enters the brain, serotonin production increases. Serotonin is a hormone that elevates your mood. So feel free to enjoy some carbohydrates along with your tryptophan-containing proteins.

4. Green tea. Green tea contains an antioxidant known as theanine, which acts as a calming agent.

5. Fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are good for them, but there are studies showing that some of them have higher mood-elevating properties than others.

· Eat broccoli and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale.

· Fruits like oranges, bananas, mangoes, pomegranates, blueberries, and strawberries are very helpful for boosting your mood.

6. Ensure you're getting enough vitamin D. In addition to eating the right kinds of foods, you can get vitamin D simply by being exposed to sunlight.

· There have been studies showing a link between vitamin D deficiency and mood. Combat a bad mood by eating foods with vitamin D or going for a walk on a nice sunny day.

Discover which foods negatively impact your mood:

1. Avoid sugar and processed foods. Those who turn to food when they’re in a bad mood often eat sweets and other junk food. Simple sugars that are broken down quickly can give you a temporary rush, but you’ll come crashing down as your blood sugar levels drop. Therefore, it’s best to avoid these types of foods.

2. Avoid deep fried foods. Many deep fried foods are cooked in oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids can block the mood boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

It might not be possible to know exactly what foods might bring you out of a bad mood on any given day. However, as a rule of thumb, stick to the foods that are known to be healthy, such as plant-based proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables, while avoiding unhealthy, processed foods.

By the Urban Life Center Team

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