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Food Can Boost Your Mood

Updated on September 12, 2014

With so much going on in the global community as well as your personal life, it is easy to feel a bit down. Diet or how we eat can also play a role in how we feel. Eating the right foods is an amazing way to improve your mood naturally. In a survey of 200 people conducted to examine the link between food and mood, it was demonstrated an 88% mental health improvement following a change in diet.

Serotonin

Serotonin has been identified as a key chemical for regulating how we feel. Serotonin is the chemical in the brain that has a great impact on your mood and has been identified as the key neurotransmitter for helping to change one's mood as it is responsible for our general well-being. Not only is it found in our blood stream but it also resides in the gastrointestinal tract.

Not only does serotonin affect your mood but it also plays a role in regulating sleep, appetite, vomiting, sexuality, memory and learning, temperature regulation, cardiovascular function, and endocrine regulation.

People who have lower levels of serotonin have an increased risk for migraines, bipolar disorder, fear, anxiety and depression.Studies have shown a correlation between low levels of serotonin in spinal fluid and depression.High levels of serotonin however create a risk for "serotonin" toxicity or serotonin syndrome. The good news is that serotonin syndrome is more commonly seen in medication management of mental illnesses/mental health conditions and not so much from dietary changes or dietary consumption.


Increasing Serotonin Levels

How does one go about increasing their serotonin levels naturally? The method in which one may boost this chemical is through the consumption of foods containing the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin within the body.

What are good sources for tryptophan? Well, aside from turkey, you might consider increasing your intake of the following foods:

  • Sardines
  • Fish
  • Walnuts
  • Chicken
  • Bananas
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Lentils

Vegetables like asparagus, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts contain folic acid which aid in the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are often a comfort food that many of us gravitate towards including foods like bread and pastas. What do they have in common? These foods can be rich in refined sugars. The key is to select unrefined carbohydrates like brown rice or whole-meal pasta.

Other Tips

Additional tips to help boost your mood include not skipping meals and getting exercise. Vitamin B Complex can help with major depression as well as anxiety. Meanwhile, Vitamin D is useful for the wintertime blues.

In Summary...

In summary, you can manage your mood through eating foods that rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and/or vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates.

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks

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