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Food and Mood

Updated on May 3, 2013
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Great Foods, Great Moods!

Fall is a beautiful time of year that most of us enjoy to the fullest. The changing colors, the crisp air and the approaching Holidays are all reasons we love Fall. Some of the foods we enjoy in the fall have the potential to help our moods as the weather gets colder and we enjoy less time outdoors soaking up the sun.

The nutrients that help improve our mood are Omega-3, Vitamin D, and Vitamins B-6 and B12. Many of the “Fall foods” that we find in abundance are great sources of these nutrients.

Omega-3 is important for mood regulation because it supplies the building blocks or raw material that the brain needs to fight depression. Most of us don’t typically eat enough Omega-3 rich foods, but knowing what foods are high in Omega-3 can help us make good choices:

-Walnuts. Dr. Oz is a big fan of walnuts because of their high content of Omega-3. So toss some walnuts on your salad, into your cereal, on that sweet potato casserole, or eat as a snack.

-Wild rice. Wild rice is high in Omega-3 and has more flavor than white rice.

-Fish, especially salmon and other cold water fish are rich in Omega-3. Grilling fish outdoors with some garlic or rosemary is a great way to get your Omega-3!

-Beans. Beans are a great source of Omega-3 and Fall is a great time to make a crock pot of beans, or a rich Chili with beans. Yum!

Vitamins B-6 and B-12 are helpful in maintaining the health of our nervous system and many people who don’t eat certain foods can become deficient:

-Avocados, baked potatoes with the skin on, and green beans are great sources of B-6.

-Turkey (yes, another reason to eat turkey!), fish, eggs, beef, and lamb.

Vitamin D can help boost serotonin and other endorphins that improve our moods. We can absorb vitamin D through sun exposure but when the weather gets colder we often remain indoors more. Days are also more overcast and opportunities for sun-provided vitamin D are fewer. Some great fall foods that provide vitamin D are:

-Mushrooms, used a lot in holiday recipes.

-Eggs and dairy products. Many fall dishes, especially pumpkin pie and eggnog, are rich in vitamin D.

-Sweet potatoes. Some of us enjoy sweet potatoes year round, but during the fall they are more plentiful and flavorful.

-Fish is packed with vitamin D and many people enjoy cooking salmon on their grill during the fall months. Salmon and other cold water fish such as tuna, sole and flounder are also high in Omega-3, so there’s a double portion of mood improving nutrients!

I’m a firm believer that if we consciously eat all the foods that are good for us, we won’t have room for all the foods that make us fat, raise our blood pressure, and make us tired. I plan to eat more salmon and walnuts this fall. Which of the foods mentioned above do you need to focus on eating more regularly? Let me know how it works!

Sources: Sparks, A. (2012) PsychCentral, Dr. Oz

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    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Glad you like the suggestions and that many of these foods are already on your favorites list!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the great hub... lots of good information there. Fortunately there are many that are my favorites -- including sweet potatoes (I fried it with sugar) and walnuts. :)

    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      I think it all starts at the supermarket, don't you?

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Oh, thanks for sharing this These are foods we all love and are easy to include in our diet I really like walnuts but do not eat enough of them. Avocados too...yum...off to the store. So glad you shared this. :) ps

    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Mellony, you're one amongst many who love walnuts, including Dr. Oz!

    • Mellonyy profile image

      Mellonyy 4 years ago

      Walnuts, my favorite! Voted up!

    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      I just bought sweet potatoes today to practice what I preach.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      We have been having more mushrooms and sweet potatoes this fall, no wonder we are a little more energetic! I love all the foods you posted here. I am going to have to make more wild rice though. Voted up.

    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Linda, it does take a conscious effort, especially at the grocery store! I find that if I load my cart up with vegetables, fruit, nuts, fish and whole grains, I then realize that I don't need the cookies, candy, pudding, and all the other junk!

    • debbiepinkston profile image
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      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, I'm glad that you like the idea of eating all the things that benefit us and thus not having room for the junk! Eating junk is fun, fast and easy, but there is nothing fun, fast or easy about being hospitalized for heart problems or dialysis! Glad you like the foods I mentioned!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Great hub Debbie. Sometimes we just need to see in print what we know and you did a great job of providing a lot ofinformation but keeping it simple. I think a lot of times we make bad choices because we think it's too complicated to make good ones. I'm going to work on adding more avocada, almonds, walnuts, and sweet potatoes. I love them all but just get lazy. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A really great hub Debbie, and I love your philosophy that if we eat what is good for us there is no room for those foods that make us fat. Great job....wild rice, eggs, mushrooms, down the list, I'm with you.