Did you know that a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can cause mood swings? Our body is not capable of producing it for itself, and a lack of this nutrient can lead to depressive states.
The food you eat not only determines how you look, but also influences your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Some foods can even improve your mood.
Most of the food you eat can upset the balance of your nervous system, causing bad mood, fatigue, anxiety, and depression as a result.
So, if you notice that you are always in a bad mood or are upset, try the following foods to improve your mood. It’s a healthier, cheaper, and easier option than taking medication.
Just keep in mind that if your emotions don’t stabilize, it’s a good idea to see a psychologist. Sometimes our problems are not related to what we eat, but to the people around us and the situations we live.
1. Cocoa or dark chocolate
The first of these mood-enhancing foods is cocoa. Thanks to theobromine, it causes a feeling of happiness. This chemical helps:
- Increase the level of serotonin and dopamine in the body,
- Relax the nervous system
- Reduce anxiety and depression.
Cocoa also contains tryptophan, a chemical that promotes the secretion of serotonin. For all the benefits, we recommend eating a small bar of dark chocolate or drinking cocoa every day to improve depression and anxiety.
The only thing to watch out for is to make sure the chocolate you choose has a high cocoa content, ideally over 65%.
The second product that improves mood is walnuts. They provide your body with omega-3 fatty acids that it does not produce on its own.
When your body doesn’t get enough omega-3s, you’re more likely to get depressed. Walnuts also contain tryptophan, which we talked about above.
We recommend eating 5 walnuts a day to keep your mood stable.
Remember that you can add them to smoothies and desserts.
Bananas are another mood-boosting food that you should include in your daily diet or eat at least twice a week.
As for the benefits for improving emotions, they are associated with a high content of vitamin B6. This vitamin is involved in the process of converting serotonin protein compounds.
In addition, thanks to the content of folic acid, vitamin C and plant fiber, they improve your level of stress resistance.
4. Sesame seeds
These seeds improve mood because they contain threonine. It is an essential amino acid that the body cannot produce and synthesize naturally.
When you have low threonine levels, you may experience chronic sadness and depression.
To get this nutrient, we recommend adding a teaspoon of sesame seeds to salads or using sesame oil in your meals.
5. Salmon and other fish
Another food that improves mood because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is fish, especially salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Omega-3 fatty acids directly affect the efficiency of the movement of certain neurotransmitters, so their deficiency can cause depressive states.
- It is recommended to include at least one serving of these types of fish in your weekly diet.
- If possible, include them about three times a week with vegetables.
- Make sure the fish you buy is of good quality and free of contaminants.
This is especially important with salmon because some fish farmed contain chemicals that can negatively affect your mood.
If you decide to eat tuna, try to choose options with natural pieces. Although canned tuna is very cheap, it is high in salt and chemicals.
6. Foods rich in fiber
Soluble fiber-rich foods help change your mood if bad emotions are caused by changes in blood sugar levels. So it is especially recommended for diabetics.
Remember that high glucose levels affect more than just your internal organs; it will also make you experience a range of negative emotions in minutes. When you feel that something bad is happening to your emotional state for no apparent reason, check your glucose levels to determine if this is the problem.
7. Lean red meat
The last of the foods that can improve your mood is lean meat. It is rich in linoleic acid, a natural fat that helps fight stress and the accumulation of fat in the body.
This meat also contains iron and omega-3s, which help improve brain health.
To really get these benefits, it’s important to cook this meat with the least amount of salt and fat.
Smoothies to improve your mood
An easy way to include mood-enhancing foods in your diet is with smoothies. The only thing you need to pay attention to is not to overdo it with the amount, because it is very easy to provoke glucose spikes.
Try this option and you will see that it is delicious and very simple.
- 1 cup skimmed milk (250 ml)
- 1/2 banana
- 5 walnuts
- 1 teaspoon cocoa or a piece of dark chocolate (5 g)
Mix all ingredients until smooth and drink immediately.