There is nothing more tempting than your favorite food when you are feeling down
But will the effects of the sugar rush make you feel good? Or let alone healthy?
None of us can avoid feeling blue when faced with the daily challenges life has to offer, but we believe some happy hormones can work their magic!
We are fishing out some healthier alternatives for you to be happy as well as hearty and healthy
Dark chocolate is known to contain antioxidants called polyphenols which are considered as a mood booster and enhance cognitive functions. Studies suggest that people felt more calmer and content after regularly eating chocolates for a couple of days
Not only being rich in feel-good nutrients, like caffeine, N-acylethanolamine which is similar to cannabinoids which are related to enhance the mood and theobromine
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that increase blood flow, enhance brain health, regulate mood, and reduce inflammation.
Apart from the scientific facts that support eating chocolates, dark chocolates have a high hedonic rating, implying that their texture, smell, and taste can also regulate mood.
We’d like to draw a line here, not all chocolates are the same, milk chocolate contains additional ingredients like fats and sugars, which is why dark chocolate, being higher in flavonoids and low in sugar, turns out to be a better option.
After all, chocolate couldn’t be the kids’ favorite only!
Fatty fish might sound unhealthy but it doesn’t! Traditional food in the Mediterranean, Norwegian and Japanese diets, Fatty fish has more to offer than its usual delicious taste.
Fatty fish contains Omega 3 fatty acids which cannot be produced in the body and hence needs to be acquired from the outside.
Since Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be, mood stabilizers make a difference in moods and hence such traits can help resolve depression, especially if consumed in the form of fish oil.
Moreover, fatty fishes like albacore tuna and salmon are rich in two types of Omega 3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) that are said to lower depression levels.
A study reveals that lower levels of fish consumption in new mothers along with low levels of DHA in the breast milk are related to higher chances of postpartum depression
Yet another benefit that Omega 3 offers is contributing to the fluidity of the brain’s cell membrane, helps with cell signaling and the brain development
The current rising and growing trend in the field of gut health prioritizes the need to include fermented foods in your diet. The key to improving gut health is maintaining healthy intestinal microbiota.
The fermentation process encourages the live bacteria to thrive and grow in the food which then eventually converts sugars into alcohol and acids. This process enhances the creation of probiotics. These probiotic microorganisms enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines and also lead to a boost in serotonin production.
It is said that 90% of the healthy bacteria are produced by the gut microbiome which plays a key role in enhancing brain health
Research shows a healthy gut is related to lower levels of depression
Kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, certain yogurts, kombucha, miso, pickled vegetables, and tempeh can be named as some of the many fermented foods.
Whereas other fermented foods like beer, wines, and bread cannot be counted as sources of probiotics due to their cooking and filtering procedures.
Whole grains contain high fiber and keep the blood sugar stable without having to consume more refined carbohydrates and sugar
Whole grains not only turn out to be healthy and wholesome but also turns out to be good for the body and brain health
A study suggests that blood sugar-stabilizing foods can help regulate brain neurotransmitter secretions
Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6 that builds up neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Yet another benefit that comes with a banana is its structure and how it affects your health. Bananas due to being paired with fiber, allows sugar to be released in the bloodstream slowly, which eventually boosts mood naturally
People going through lower blood sugar levels may lead to irritability and mood swings. Bananas when showcases a green peel proves to be high in prebiotics.
Bananas are nutrition dense with Vitamin B6, prebiotic fiber, and natural sugar which helps keep blood sugars and your mood stable
Smile like the shape of a banana!
Beans and Lentils
Beans, peas, legumes, and lentils are the staple food in the Indian household.
As small as they may seem, beans and lentils help to keep depression at bay. Just as its variety, beans, and lentils help to improve gut health by providing prebiotic bacteria.
Beans and lentils are packed with B Vitamin, elevating the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and dopamine, which are all linked to boosting one’s spirits. They are also a good source of non-heme iron, zinc, selenium, and magnesium that are also linked with uplifted spirits
These functions expand to nerve signaling which enables better nerve communication. Whereas, dips in the levels of Vitamin B12 and folate results in depression
It is suggested for an individual to include at least 1-2 cups of legumes and beans in a week. With a large variety of whole grains, quinoa, millet, brown rice, and bulgur they can be eaten by making it into a lentil soup, like hummus, or with veggies
Seeds and Nuts
Nuts are no doubt dense with nutrition like fiber, essential vitamins, and proteins
Whereas nuts like almonds and walnuts can provide long-term benefits since they contain omega 3 fatty acids.
To add to the goodness, seeds and nuts provide an amino acid called tryptophan, which is linked to the production of serotonin. To list a few – pumpkin seeds, sesame, walnuts, almond, and cashews are some of the best sources to get these nutrients.
Nuts and seeds turn out to be a healthy, wholesome snack replacement that can easily be consumed on the go.
Certain seeds like almonds, brazil nuts, and pine nuts are rich in tryptophan, selenium, and zinc which helps in the efficient regulation of brain functions thereby lowering the chances of mental disorders like depression.
Coffee – Smells like magic, and works like it too!
Just as the name suggests, coffee can help with uplifting the mood, help deal with depression, and make you feel better like no other.
A compound called adenosine when attached to the brain receptors induces a feeling of tiredness. The caffeine present in coffee prevents such reaction thereby making the individual attentive and more aware.
Further, it induces happy hormones like norepinephrine and dopamine to keep you smiling and happy all the time. To add to the feel-good hormones, scientists suggest that phenolic compounds like chlorogenic acid, but still more research is needed to prove that.
Just as some foods can have a negative implication on your health, some can turn your day around and uplift your spirits.
These dietary changes can reap huge benefits if done right.
Though it is important to note that mood swings can occur due to stress, following an unhealthy lifestyle, sleep patterns, nutritional deficiencies, and mental disorders, following the right diet can work wonders for you.
Along with fostering a calm and relaxed mood, they can also help in keeping up with a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy diet is just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to following a healthy lifestyle. With your diet taken care of, we ensure that the pieces fit in just right!
Our Pulpbrew Smoothies help you get the right amount of nutrition for your daily intake! Regardless of how busy you are, we make sure you don’t have to leave your health behind!
If you continue to experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety, a diet change can’t be the complete solution to the problem but seeking expert medical help can be!