Feeling stressed or down in the dumps? Your diet may be partly to blame. Your mood is largely the result of certain chemicals that your body produces, such as serotonin and endorphins. The production and functioning of these chemicals in turn requires certain nutrients, such as folic acid, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids, that you get from particular foods. Start eating more of these foods and you’ll likely feel happier, more alert, and more productive:
Whole Grains. The carbohydrates in whole grains are particularly good at increasing your brain’s serotonin production. Serotonin acts as a natural antidepressant. Whole grains are also a much better source of fiber than processed grains, and studies have shown that fiber can improve your mood.
Salmon and other fish. Fish, particularly salmon, contains tons of omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to mental health in a large number of ways—they improve your memory, decrease your risk of dementia, and put you in a good mood.
Fruits and vegetables. Among the many, many nutrients that fruits and vegetables contain are several that can make you feel happier. These include B12, folic acid, and other vitamins and antioxidants, as well as massive amounts of fiber.
Dark chocolate. Eating small amounts of dark chocolate every day has been shown to increase endorphin levels. Dark chocolate also has some caffeine in it, which stimulates your nervous system, making you more alert, but not enough to cause the negative effects associated with over-caffeinated drinks like coffee.
Vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D could contribute to depression. That’s a problem, because it isn’t naturally found in most foods and most of us don’t get enough of it. The best way to meet your vitamin D requirements is from a mix of sources—fish, vitamin D-fortified foods like milk, and regular exposure to the sun.
While increasing your intake of these foods, make sure to limit sugar, large amounts of caffeine, and alcohol. While they can amp you up for a short time, in the long run they’re all effective good mood killers. To diminish your stress and increase your peace of mind even further, just remember that you can get excellent 24 hour emergency care in Houston or Austin at Neighbors Emergency Center whenever an accident or medical emergency occurs.