We've all been there! Our kid is having a melt-down in the grocery store. We're in the freezer aisle, We see a gallon of ice cream, a box of cookies, and we throw them in the cart as reward for dealing with a humiliating and stressful shopping experience.
When we're stressed , we eat,we have cravings and load up on salty snacks and sweet treats, and then feel even more stressed because of the guilt of allowing ourselves to indulge in our cravings.
Food affects your mood and your energy level. If you don't have the energy to get through your busy day, you're going to get stressed, and when you are stressed, your cravings take over! It's a vicious cycle, but it can be stopped!
8 Nutrients to Boost Your Mood
1. Vitamin C enables your body to use carbs, fats, and proteins efficiently. It also allows your body to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin that stabilizes your mood and prevents depression.
Where can you get your vitamin C?
Oranges, lemons, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli.
2. Vitamin B6 acts in a similar way as antidepressants by boosting serotonin levels, and helps with pre-menstrual depression. You can get your B-6 from carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, and bananas.
3. Zinc deficiency can lead to symptoms of depression, but when zinc levels are increased it has shown to improve depressive symptoms. You can get zinc from legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
4. Magnesium helps with hormone balance, and neurotransmitter function that helps to regulate your mood. A lot of people in the Western World are magnesium deficient. You can get magnesium from legumes, tofu, whole grains, and leafy greens.
5. Folate helps with serotonin regulation. Foods such as avocado, oranges, spinach, and asparagus contain folate.
6. Selenium has shown to boost mood and decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and tiredness in recent studies. You can get selenium from brazil nuts, tuna, mushrooms, and lentils.
7. Vitamin D deficiency is common. The best source of vitamin D is from the sun. When you have sufficient vitamin D you are better able to maintain a positive mood. If you are low in vitamin D, it's a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement.
8. Omega-3s help maintain healthy brain function. Our brains are made of 60% fat, therefore omega-3 fatty acids have EPA and DHA which has shown to improve depressive symptoms. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from chia, flax, and fatty fish such as salmon.
Mood boosting food:
-Probiotics: tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, my favorite probiotic supplement for mood is Garden of Life Mood+ Probiotic.
-Dark Leafy Greens
Foods to avoid that worsen mood:
-Sugar has been shown to increase mood disorders and depression in recent studies. Those that cosumed 67 or more grams of sugar were 23% more likely to have a depression diagnosis. Staying away from sugary beverages such as sodas and juices can greatly reduce your sugar consumption. Stay away from sugar substitutes such as aspartame which cause you to crave and consume more sugar.
-Fast Food also is related to mood disorders. A 2012 study published in the Public Health Journal found that people who consumed fast food at least two times a week were 51% more likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder.
Drink Your Water!
The earliest signs of dehydration are fatigue and lack of energy; if you are feeling thirsty, you are already behind. Our bodies require a substantial amount of water to function properly, so not replenishing it appropriately can immediately impact your metabolism and your energy. Check out the following tips to stay hydrated and maintain your energy levels.
If you are having trouble drinking that much water, try adding some fruit (e.g. lemon, orange, berries) to make infused water, or try eating more fruits and vegetables with high water content.