Following a healthy diet works wonders for your waistline, but did you know that certain foods can actually improve your mood and even keep depression at bay?
Let’s take a look at five mood-boosting foods that are super simple to work into your daily diet.
Fish is an especially healthy protein choice. White-fleshed fish is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon, trout, and mackerel are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to fight inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
Research has also shown that Omega-3s have the ability to fight off depression, and beyond that, fish is a renewable resource that is extremely healthy to eat.
Be sure to choose wild fish over farm-raised whenever possible, and aim for a couple of three-ounce portions per week.
2. Dark Chocolate
This one seems to be a no-brainer. Who doesn’t cheer up after a chocolate fix?
Science, however, backs up what us “chocoholics” have known for years. Eating dark chocolate produces endorphins, which are chemicals made by your body to help ease pain and make you feel good.
Dark chocolate also contains a substance called serotonin, which has been shown to guard against depression. Remember that an ounce or so of chocolate a day is enough to make your taste buds dance and your mood soar.
Tea has been a favorite drink all around the world for centuries. Tea has been shown to soothe your digestive system, help boost your immunity, and may even play a role in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Tea has about half the caffeine of coffee, and of course, herbal teas have no caffeine at all, so you can enjoy this beverage without the side effects of this stimulant. Naturally free from calories, it’s a tasty way to ramp up your liquid consumption throughout the day.
Researchers have discovered that it’s not only the properties of certain teas but the ritual of putting on a kettle to boil and waiting while it steeps, that can actually put you in a better frame of mind.
For the best mood-boosting benefit, try ginger tea. Ginger aids with circulation and also improves cognitive function. Green tea is said to increase alertness and energy and is packed with antioxidants that protect your body.
Go ahead and put the kettle on!
The wonderful vegetable is famous for one peculiar side effect, but beyond that, asparagus is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It’s a great source of fiber and vitamins A and C. It’s also one of the most potent of fruits and vegetables when it comes to supplying antioxidants that hunt down and destroy free radicals.
Asparagus also supplies us with high levels of tryptophan, which stimulates the body’s production of serotonin, a serious mood enhancer. A good jolt of folate also helps to ward off depression, so grab a handful of this versatile veggie and enjoy!
Perhaps one of my all-time favorite fruits, avocados are chock full of healthy fats, antioxidants, and high levels of vitamin C.
Avocados are multitalented and equally at home in all kinds of cuisine, from a simple and delicious guacamole to a sandwich topping. It's even a great addition to your morning smoothie for a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber.
The fats in avocados are known to increase levels of dopamine, which can lead to increased energy, more motivation, and a better attitude. Why not grab some tortilla chips and make a simple guacamole for an afternoon pick-me-up?
Get in a good food mood.
Life can be tough sometimes, but don’t let things get you down. I’m positive that you can find some delicious ways to incorporate some of the foods above into your daily routine.
Not only will your health improve, but your mood will too!
Ted Begnoche is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of nutrition and general wellness. He has recently published books on Sugar Detox as well as the inflammation epidemic, and continues to improve his knowledge by constantly remaining up to date with the latest news and trends in the nutrition world. When not busy writing, you can find him playing banjo and guitar, outside fishing, or working on his blog, http://holistichealthpath.com