Increase Your Mood with Food

We all know that diet and exercise can affect your frame of mind. But what if you knew that by including some simple foods in your diet, you can boost those good feelings for months to come:

Legumes: These are a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils and are among the most nutritious foods available. Most legumes have many beneficial properties such as low fat, no cholesterol, high B vitamins, and minerals. One mineral in particular, magnesium, helps move energy throughout your body and gets you feeling energized.

Spinach: These iron packed vegetables help shuttle oxygen to muscles to increase your energy level. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue and depression. Pair this dark green veggie with an item high in Vitamin C, like oranges and strawberries, to help your body absorb these nutrients.

Quinoa: Back away from the simple carbohydrates like white rice and bread that cause your body to crash quickly. Incorporating complex carbohydrates in their place can help you have a steady stream of energy. In addition, quinoa is one of the exceptional plant foods that have all 9 essential amino acids to help build muscles.  Check out our Black Bean Quinoa Recipe that includes both legumes and this nutrient packed carbohydrate.

Tomatoes: Let’s talk about Lycopene! This substance gives fruits and vegetables their red color and is a powerful antioxidant that may reduce asthma. Cooking tomatoes actually changes lycopene so that it can be absorbed into the body easier.

Apples: Eating these offers another good choice for antioxidants. Apples are loaded with the flavonoid quercetin that also can help with symptoms from asthma. Most of the nutrients are stored in the apple peel, so go ahead and take a bite!

Walnuts: These crunchy snacks are loaded with serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that controls mood and sleep patterns. Other foods that help boost your serotonin are pineapple and cheese.

Salmon: If you find yourself feeling crabby, you may want to consider going fishing for some Omega-3-Fatty Acids. Specifically, EPA and DHA, which helps carry messages from the outside of the brain into the cells. It is shown to have the best results if these two Omeg-3 Fatty Acids are consumed together. These can be found in fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

Enriched Cereals: A deficiency in folic acid proves to have depressive symptoms. Enriched cereals are an easy way to meet the recommended amount and start your day off on the right foot.

Eggs: Unscramble your memories with this nutrient packed protein. Egg yolks are high in Choline, which helps lock those memories in your brain.

Saffron: Seasoning your foods with Saffron can help bring a smile to your face. This herb helps cleans out the brain’s “subways” so that serotine can be easily absorbed.

Coconut: Breath easy with coconut flavored scents that will help your body respond to stress. Research shows that coconut scents help slow the heart rate and control your body’s fight-or-flight response.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, try loading up on these foods to help pump up your mood.