Food can make a significant difference when it comes down to your mood. Healthy food choices can act as natural anti-depressants while making you happy as it increases the level of seratonin in the brain and the rest of the body. Portion of the seratonin in the body is actually produced in the gut, so making the right nutritional choice is essential. Eating food, such as junk food, negatively affects your health as you are not getting proper macro- and micro-nutrients, and in some cases, unhealthy food can actually leach nutrients from the body.
Here we are going to look at foods that meet the qualifications that will make you happy and healthy:
This vegetable contains a lot of magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that is a vital part of the biochemical reactions that increase energy levels in the human body. A study in 2009 in the “Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry” discovered that lower magnesium levels were associated with higher depression scores.
Blue Potatoes are becoming much more popular at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. They have powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins; anthocyanins provide neuro-protective qualities, like reducing the brain inflammation that is commonly associated with depression, and boosting short-term memory. Your thyroid gland is maintained, as well, by the iodine found in the peel.
Mussels have moderate to high amounts of Vitamin B12, Selenium, Iodine, protein, and Zinc, while being low in calories and fat. The Iodine helps to support the thyroid gland, which helps to regulate mood and weight; the Selenium and Zinc help the thyroid gland, as well. The Vitamin B12 helps to strengthen and insulate a person’s brain cells, which keeps the brain sharp over time.
Dark chocolate improves the blood-flow to the brain, and provides an instant boost in concentration and mood. This will help you to feel more energetic and vibrant. However, don’t go overboard: The “Journal of Psychopharmacology” says that all you need is a few ounces of dark chocolate each day to reap the benefits. Milk and German chocolate do not have the same benefits.
Calcium – which Greek yogurt has large amounts of (more than milk) – helps a person’s brain by causing it to release happiness-inducing neurotransmitters. Greek yogurt also has more protein than regular yogurt, which makes weight-loss easier. Also, available with goat’s milk.
Asparagus has high levels of folate and tryptophan. Low levels of folate have been linked to depression in half of all cases of depression, according to recent research
. Tryptophan is also used by the brain to make serotonin, which is one of the human brain’s main mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters. Turkey is a great source of tryptophan; it does require calories in order to activate its sedative-like effects.
In regards to health, honey is far better than regular sugar. Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, which helps to prevent depression (and keep your brain healthy) by reducing inflammation in the brain. It also won’t send your body into “fat-storage” mode, like regular sugar can, by having less of an impact on blood-sugar levels.
All tomatoes have a substance known as lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights inflammation in the brain and generally protects the brain. For best results, eat them with olive oil; olive oil helps to increase the absorption of lycopene.
Eggs contain moderate-to-large amounts of Zinc, Vitamin B, Iodine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and protein. Not only can eggs keep you energized, they can also keep you full (stomach-wise) for longer! A 2008 study in the “International Journal of Obesity” found that people who had eggs for breakfast lost considerably more weight, compared to those who ate bagels for breakfast.
Coconuts contain medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides are special fats that fuel better moods and promote general brain-health. Coconut is also a healthy source of fat and can withstand high heat without going rancid.
Few more tips on how to increase seratonin, “the feel good hormone”:
- Chiropractic care – to maintain an optimally functioning nervous system within a subluxation-free spine
- Smiling – the act itself releases seratonin in the brain
- Physical activity – clears the mind, increases blood flow to the brain and body ->boosts seratonin, and increases energy levels
- Water – hydrates all the cells in the brain and body, increases energy, and decreases the stress toll on the body
- Spending time in nature – increases oxygen in the brain and body, promotes a sense of calm, and boosts energy
- Green smoothie/juice – increases level of antioxidants and increases energy while lowering pH to a more alkaline level
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Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana
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