Everything you do that affects your health, also affects your disposition. I have clients in Richmond Hill, GA that say once they started eating healthy, good food, they found they increased the number of days they were in a good mood. There’s a lot of reasons for that. One big one is not what you’re eating, but what you’re not eating. If you’ve cut out sugar, you’ll also prevent many of the problems of fluctuating blood sugar levels. While the highs are great and make you feel energized (although some times they make you feel shaky), the lows can leave you feeling grumpy and angry, even when there’s no reason.
Eat a lot of leafy greens.
Leafy greens contain magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate. B6 is used by the body to help increase the amount of serotonin it gets, which is very similar to the job antidepressants do. Other foods with B6 include carrots, sweet potatoes, green peas and legumes. The folate also helps regulate serotonin. Avocados also contain a significant amount of folate. Don’t mistake it for folic acid, which doesn’t provide the benefits and is a synthetic form of B9 that may increase the risk of serious conditions. Magnesium has been recognized as a good treatment for depression for years, unfortunately many Americans have a shortage.
Boost your spirits with some nuts, lentils and flax seeds.
Walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and even peanuts can help boost your mood and provide a great snack! Cashews contain vitamin B6, but also have magnesium, niacin and tryptophan. The B6 aids in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Walnuts contain high amounts of Omega3 fatty acids. Not only does Omega3 fatty acid lift your spirits, one study found that by including more Omega3 in the diet of prisoners with a high propensity toward violence, there were fewer incidence in the prison. Don’t get mad, get a walnut or two.
Eat some berries, especially blueberries.
To stay healthy, you need to fight free radicals that can come from the food we eat or the environment. The flavonoids in blueberries, such as anthocyanin that gives it the blue color—help keep your brain safe and can make you feel good. One study showed that drinking a mixture made from wild blueberries had a positive effect on mood for people of all ages, compared to the placebo. It’s not just blueberries, but any fresh berry, fruit or vegetable with a deep red or purple color contains anthocyanin.
- Get your sunshine vitamin, vitamin C. Vitamin C contributes to making neurotransmitters, which includes the happy hormones, serotonin, dopamine and nor adrenaline. One study showed increasing blood levels of vitamin C reduced mental distress by 51% and reduced mood disturbance by 71%.
- Hooray for dark chocolate. It’s good for your mood. It has more cocoa solids and doesn’t contain the milk, so the flavor is stronger, but so are the mood improving benefits from the polyphenols in dark chocolate.
- Drink some green tea to relax you, while also making you more alert. It’s been shown to benefit conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, too.
- A cup and a half of coffee a day may be just what the doctor ordered for depression. It dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation, plus the caffeine increases the dopamine production.