Mood Food

Feeling sluggish or down in the dumps?  Your diet might be to blame.  There are a few foods that can help you with a perky attitude.

Omega-3 Fatty acids – Includes cold water fish, such as salmon and sardines, flax seed, walnuts, nuts and seeds.  The fat in these foods help the brain cells and neurotransmitters function properly and possibly help some folks with depression.

Soluble Fiber Foods – Includes oatmeal, barley, beans, fruits and some vegetables.  These foods help regulate blood sugars.  The soluble fiber forms a gel in your GI tract that slowly release the sugar from some of these foods into the blood stream.  It helps you from feeling hungry too quickly.

Vitamin D foods – Includes most animal products such as eggs, meat, poultry, fortified milk products, and the sun.  This “sunshine” vitamin has been linked to everything from bone health to depression.  15-20 minutes in the sun will give you more than your daily dose.  It’s worth getting the recommended amount of 600 IUs, but some with health concerns are taking 1000 IU’s to avoid deficiencies.

Serotonin – is a neurotransmitter in the brain.  Lower levels have been linked to depression.  Amino acid tryptophan and B vitamins can help balance the serotonin levels.  Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as whole grains, dark chocolate, and beans, can certainly work in your favor.  These foods help the brain absorb the B vitamins and tryptophan uplifting your mood.  Of course, dark chocolate (good source of antioxidants) will lift up anyone’s mood :)

Limit Caffeine – avoid drink large amounts of coffee, however, green teas have been shown to be a mood lifter along with supplying the body with plenty of antioxidants.

Eating a balance diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will go a long way to make you feel better, but so will lifestyle.  Getting plenty of sleep and decreasing stress can certainly help boost our mood as well.

About Sharon M., MS RD

As a registered dietitian and a master gardener, I know the healing power of food. Nothing has given me more satisfaction than growing my own food. I have experience working in the public health field, including school districts. I have worked with pregnant moms, children, diabetics, and bariatric patients. I emphasis a plant-based, whole food diet. Yet, I appreciate the movement of eating sustainably, while hoping folks appreciate the bean as a source of protein. "To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld "Feeding is going well if both you and yor child are having a good time." -Ellyn Satter
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