8 Healthy Mood Boosting Foods

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Junk food is the usual go-to source of comfort when we are feeling down. However, it effects are short-lived and can lead to weight gain in the long term. Eating certain healthy foods can leave you feeling better and have the added benefit of improving brain function. Here are some foods that can help to improve your mood when you are not feeling so good.

1. Oats

Oats stabilize blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels have been linked to feelings of irritability and anxiety. Oats are also a good source of the trace mineral selenium.

2. Bananas

Bananas are rich in tryptophan which is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin in the brain. They also contain sufficient amounts of carbohydrates and vitamins B6 and C. Carbohydrates and vitamin C help the brain to absorb tryptophan while vitamin B6 plays an important role in the secretion of serotonin.

3. Dark chocolate

Chocolate contains a neurotransmitter called anandamide that helps you to feel good by suppressing feelings of pain and depression in the brain. It also contains compounds that make the effects of anandamide last longer by preventing its breakdown.

4. Mackerel

This is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which increase production of serotonin and also make the brain more receptive to it. These omega-3 fatty acids also function as antidepressants and do not have any side effects.

5. Coffee

Caffeine inhibits activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sluggish and drowsy. It also contains high amounts of adrenaline which can boost your mood and increase your agility.

 6. Potatoes

Potatoes contain high amounts of folic acid, which is known to prevent depression and iodine, which plays a major role in ensuring the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones are well known mood regulators.

7. Vegetables

Vegetables like spinach and broccoli are rich in B vitamins especially folic acid, that increase the secretion of serotonin, a hormone that helps to improve your mood.

8. Lean poultry

Eating foods like chicken and turkey increase melatonin, tyrosine and tryptophan levels in your body. Melatonin helps you to sleep better while tyrosine increases levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, preventing depression. Tryptophan is used up in the production of serotonin.

Image Courtesy of: shape.com, phen.com.

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