Although comfort eating when you’re feeling down is not the answer, research shows that good nutrition and certain foods can have a positive effect on your mood. Instead of ice-cream or pizza, try these foods when you’re feeling blue:
- Omega-3: Foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against depression. Foods such as fish, flaxseed, and walnuts are a great source of omega-3. There have been studies which suggest that omega-3 fatty acids positively affects activity in the brain that sends messages to make the feel-good hormones.
- Fiber: Eating foods rich in soluble fiber can help put you in a better mood. Soluble fiber helps balance blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood. Foods that are good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, beans, citrus fruits, peas, strawberries, and apples. Low-carb diets are very popular these days and many individuals avoid carbohydrates altogether. You should avoid simple sugars that are found in sweets and processed foods.
- Green and red tea. Green tea contains an antioxidant known as theanine, which acts as a calming agent. Studies show that red tea (Rooibos) can alleviate the symptoms of depression
- Fruits and vegetables. Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are good for them, but there are studies showing that some of them have higher mood-elevating properties than others. Eat broccoli and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale. Fruits like oranges, bananas, mangoes, pomegranates, blueberries, and strawberries are very helpful for boosting your mood.
- Ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D. In addition to eating the right kinds of foods, you can get vitamin D simply by being exposed to sunlight. There have been studies showing a link between vitamin D deficiency and mood. Combat a bad mood by eating foods with vitamin D or going for a walk on a nice sunny day.
Discover which foods negatively impact your mood:
- Avoid sugar and processed foods. Those who turn to food when they’re in a bad mood often eat sweets and other junk food. Simple sugars that are broken down quickly can give you a temporary rush, but you’ll come crashing down as your blood sugar levels drop. So, avoid these types of foods.
- Avoid deep fried foods. Many deep fried foods are cooked in oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids can block the mood boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
Remember, each individual body is different. What works for you may not work for your friend or neighbor. That’s why a personal nutrition plan is the key to good health and elevated mood. When you know exactly what nutrients your body needs and you have plan to follow, it’s a lot easier to eat well and stay healthy.