Did you know that your diet can help to improve your mood?! Research has shown certain nutrients have beneficial effects on mental health. Focus on including some of these five natural mood-boosting nutrients in your meals this week!
Vitamin C is an antioxidant proven to prevent cell damage. Free radicals are naturally produced by our bodies and unfortunately, damage our cells. Antioxidants work hard to protect against these free radicals! The brain is at risk for this cell damage, just like any other organ in our body. Consuming foods high in vitamin C such as oranges, kiwi, peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli can help to keep brain cells healthy.
Low levels of folate and B12 in the diet have been linked with depression. The science of the relationship is not fully known, but many research studies have found this correlation. Following a healthy diet that contains dark green vegetables, legumes, and fish can help to ensure you are getting enough B vitamins.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Low consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has also been associated with higher rates of depression. Many foods that contain B vitamins, also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Great fatty acid sources include anchovies, salmon, tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Carbohydrates not only provide brain power, but also have been found to elevate moods! This elevated mood is attributed to the increased presence of serotonin. Higher levels of serotonin in the body have been associated with carbohydrate consumption. Remember to choose healthy carbs such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Proteins high in the amino acid tryptophan have also been associated with serotonin production. Having protein with your carbohydrate can help keep your energy level and your mood high. Turkey, chicken, cheese, yogurt, fish and eggs are all great sources of protein that contain tryptophan.
Changing your diet is just one way you can support your mental health! Practicing mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet is the recipe to success when it comes to regulating your moods.
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