Every day, we face situations that make us stressed or feeling blue. During these times, we immediately reach for foods that can help us lift our moods and improve our outlook in life.
However, David Ludwig, a professor of pediatrics and nutrition at Harvard University and a researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital says that:
“When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but oftentimes those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses.”
That’s why, instead of adding white pasta or cakes to our diet to deal with stress, it would be better to opt for nutritious mood-boosting foods that have tons of benefits to our health. Try the ones listed below.
Eggs are packed with vitamin D and B12, and protein. They also have rich amounts of choline which supports the nervous system, helps produce neurotransmitters and antioxidant selenium, and improves the mood. We can have hard-boiled egg as a snack or scrambled with steamed greens or other veggies.
Aside from its nutritious fat content, avocados also have fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E as well as vitamin B5 which helps synthesize neurotransmitters and supports the adrenal glands.
Studies revealed that drinking a cup of black tea can help us quickly recover from stressful events. It works by lowering our stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations. Aside from black tea, chamomile tea has also been used for ages to relieve stress and calm nerves.
Red Peppers, Papaya And Kiwi
These foods contain more vitamin C than oranges. According to studies, vitamin C helps curb stress hormones. In addition to these superfoods, Brussels sprouts, berries and broccoli also have significant levels of vitamin C as well.
Carrots And Celery
The crunchiness of carrots and celery work more on mechanical levels. Chewing acts as a physical relief to stress and may be helpful for those individuals who have the habit of grinding their teeth.
Though they are little, lentils are rich in folate which help develop the nervous system. A body deficient in folate is at higher risk of experiencing depression. Aside from this, lentils also have high amounts of fiber, protein, iron and vitamin B6 that helps our body make serotonin and dopamine (mood-boosting neurotransmitters).
These seeds are rich in potassium, zinc phosphorus, and especially in magnesium which is a superfood for the brain. Magnesium is needed by our body to lower our risks of fatigue, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and nervousness.
Present in sweet potatoes are various mood boosters such as fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 including other B vitamins. We have sweet potatoes on our salads or eat them plain, roasted or steamed.
This mod boosting food contains magnesium, fiber, protein and vitamin E which act as an antioxidant that fights free radicals that can damage the brain. Foods rich in vitamin E can help improve memory and cognition. For this benefit, we can have almonds as a snack.