It has been proven that negative feelings are associated with negative health outcomes and depression is a risk factor for many health disorders. List of foods here that can help brighten up your mood instantly
Leafy greens like spinach, methi, chowli, sarson are a good source of folic acid. Folic acid helps to convert tryptophan into serotonin, a hormone that helps you sleep well and stabilizes your mood. In addition, dark leafy greens are packed with magnesium, a nutrient that contributes to normal nerve and muscle function. Low magnesium levels may lead to low levels of serotonin.
Whole grains & cereals are rich in slowrelease complex carbs. They are digested more slowly and thus will keep you feeling fuller – and conceivably happier – for a longer period of time. Eating carbs, it has also been found, helps boost serotonin levels (thus providing a calming, soothing effect). However simple carbs like white bread and pastries will only give you a momentary surge followed by a crash, and they will also make you pack on the kilos. Find complex carbs in whole grains (brown rice) oatmeal, jowar, bajra, nachni, popcorn, vegetables and legumes.
Lentils are a good source of folic acid. Folate deficiency impairs metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenalin – neurotransmitters important to the brain.
Eggs contain countless nutrients that help support a healthy body and mind. Egg yolks are rich in vitamins D, B12, and the amino acid choline. These nutrients are vital for brain development and function. Choline has been shown to have a number of vital functions including optimal cell membrane function and neurotransmitters related to mood and energy levels.
Milk offers an array of nutrients, including vitamins A and B, calcium, carbohydrates, magnesium, phosphate, protein, riboflavin, zinc and the all-important tryptophan needed to synthesize serotonin, the brain’s own ‘antidepressant’. Milk also contains antioxidants that help destroy free radicals associated with stress.
Fish & sea food are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid / DHA) which are mood stabilizers. Fatty fish like shark, bangda (mackerel) and sardine are good source of omega 3s. Oysters (kalva) and squid (calamari) supply the amino acid tryptophan which help create the mood lifter serotonin.
Okra Yet another food that is chock-full of stress relieving B vitamins, okra (a.k.a. lady finger) has the added benefit of containing folic acid, which is also a part of the B vitamins family. So keep your folic acid level up and you’re less likely to be down in the dumps. Hate lady finger? Try cluster beans (guar), which is an even better source.
Nuts All nuts team with antioxidants, magnesium and essential fats known to improve nerve cell health. Walnuts additionally is a good vegetarian source of serotonin-boosting omega-3 fatty acids needed for proper brain function and neurotransmission. Peanuts are excellent sources of folic acid, while almonds in addition to being high in fiber and good fats may help to raise dopamine and thus increase endorphins.
Green tea offers L-theanine, an amino acid that can pass through the blood –brain barrier, improve mood, and blunt the craving for sweets. On a day-to-day basis, drinking green tea will help to regulate your blood glucose levels, keep you alert and hydrated. So counter that 3 PM blood sugar low with a cup of green tea instead of potato chips.
Fruit There’s yet another good reason to eat a banana a day – it can boost serotonin and dopamine production. Pineapples are a good source of tryptophan. Apples offer complex carbs that store energy in your body and release it in small amounts through the day, to give you a needed boost without causing a sudden energy slump. All berries are jampacked with antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamin C.
Yogurt believe it or not, your gut has a mind of its own, complete with serotonin receptors! Indeed most of the body’s total serotonin is present in the digestive tract in the enterochromaffin cells where it regulates intestinal movements. Thus an imbalance in good and bad bacteria in your intestine can disrupt the production/ reception of serotonin. Probiotics in yogurt and cottage cheese (and some cereals) keep levels of bad bacteria down.
Poultry is a rich source of tyrosine, another amino acid that assists the body to cope with stress. Tyrosine is a building block for dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that help control your mood. Chicken also offers tryptophan, which makes serotonin and which, unfortunately, is also responsible for the sluggishness you feel after feasting on chicken biryani!
Dark chocolate contains very low concentrations of psychoactive chemicals like anandamide (a neurotransmitter), tyramine and phenylethylamine which have effects similar to the banned amphetamine, as well as theobromine and caffeine which act as stimulants. Dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa) also contains high levels of phenylalanine, an amino acid that enhances production of the dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Vitamin C deficiency is often associated with low energy, depressed mood, and irritability. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, provide an instant burst of vitamin C. This vitamin also aids your body’s absorption of iron, a mineral crucial for the production of healthy red blood cells.
Chillies Capsaicin, the active component in red and green chilli peppers causes brain to secrete endorphins which results in a mood lift. Get your capsaicin hit with a lick of spicy mango pickle.
Coffee Caffeine is the world’s most popular legal psychoactive drug. It is a stimulator. It boosts metabolism and energy levels, making you feel more alert by interfering with the action of drowse-inducing adenosine in the brain. It also manipulates the same channels in the brain as amphetamines, activating the brain’s pleasure centers.
Be warned, however, that while sugary or caffeinated drinks give you an instant lift, you might pay for it later when your energy levels plummet.