According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a mood disorder is a type of mental illness that affects a person’s emotional state. Almost 10% of adults in the United States experienced a mood disorder within the past year. A negative mood can impact work, school, athletic performance, among others.
Thankfully, there are solutions for combating a negative mood.
“You are what you eat” is a common expression, but it has some truth to it. Eating better can make people feel better if what they’re eating are mood-boosting foods. Keep reading to learn about five of the best ingredients to boost your mood.
Mood-Boosting Foods: Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can influence dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that controls feelings of pleasure in the brain, therefore influencing experiences of happiness. Serotonin is responsible for regulating the mood. Low serotonin can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids act as a mood booster because they enhance dopamine and serotonin production. Specific types of fish that are high in omega-3s include salmon, sardines, trout, and albacore tuna.
Eating chocolate is another option for natural ways to boost your mood. Chocolate is made of cacao beans that contain certain amino acids that interact with serotonin in the brain. Dark chocolate may have the most benefits as it has a higher cacao content.
Other foods that boost your mood are sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin B6. B6 contributes to regulating functions in the brain, more specifically regulating emotions. Eating foods with high B6 content helps reduce symptoms of depression.
Lentils, like sweet potatoes, also contain a host of B vitamins. In addition to influencing serotonin and dopamine, these vitamins also influence other neurotransmitters in the brain.
They also interact with norepinephrine and GABA. Norepinephrine helps the body respond to stress and enhances energy and alertness. GABA contributes to feelings of calmness, helping the body reduce stress and anxiety.
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Magnesium is an essential nutrient and it is present in leafy greens.
Magnesium contributes to various functions in the body. It regulates muscle function, blood sugar, and blood pressure. This mineral is also helpful for reducing anxiety.
Leafy greens that are high in magnesium include spinach, kale, collard greens, and chard.
But Wait, There’s More
There are plenty of ways to naturally boost the mood aside from eating right. Other individuals have utilized natural herbs and plants as mood boosters. One that has become increasingly popular is kratom.
Kratom is derived from a tree in South Asia.
One of the best places to get kratom is online. This plant is easily accessible and can come in the form of powder or capsules. Recently, it has been used to successfully treat anxiety and depression.
Alternatively, exercise, getting enough sleep, and a strong social network can all contribute to an improved mood.
Most individuals that suffer from mood disorders, like anxiety and depression, are hesitant to utilize medication. Thankfully, there are plenty of mood-boosting foods, and other resources, that can provide natural relief.
For more information on the health benefits of food, check out the rest of our site!