(BeWellBuzz) Food gives us all the important nutrition and energy we need to survive. Not only that, we’re sure you’ve had moments when having a certain type of food has instantly cheered you up or lifted you out of a bad mood! That’s because these foods fuel more than your body — they feed your mood too.
The logic of how our food impacts our moods lies in the way our brain works. Our brain communicates with the rest of our body by using certain chemical substances, known as neurotransmitters, made from the food we consume. Each food group will have its own correlation with these neurotransmitters.
Serotonin – The Happiness Neurotransmitter
There are primarily three neurotransmitters, which when produced can influence our mood considerably. Before we go on to talk about foods that produce these neurotransmitters, let’s go through a brief introduction of these.
The three key neurotransmitters that influence our moods and emotional state include dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. When we consume foods that produce the first two, we tend to feel more mentally alert, motivated and energetic. Meanwhile, serotonin has a more calming effect and having foods that release serotonin relieves us of tension and stresses, often making us feel relaxed and even sluggish.
The 10 Magic Foods
In the sections that follow, we will talk about some of the most important food groups that release serotonin and hence are the ideal foods that make you happy. These food groups are rich sources of ingredients like tryptophan and omega 3 fatty acids which release a good amount of serotonin into your system.
Flaxseeds are viewed as one of the richest sources of tryptophan as well as omega 3 fatty acids, both of which release serotonin into your body. Experts recommend having 1 to 2 teaspoons of organic flaxseed oil every day for issues like depression, post partum depression and other psychological disorders.
Bananas are considered as one of the richest sources of serotonin and hence rank amongst the top mood alleviating foods. Scientifically, vitamin B6, also present in bananas in huge amounts is also considered as a good source of serotonin, making the fruit even more beneficial.
3. Chia seeds
A rich source of essential fatty acids, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, chia seeds rank amongst one of healthiest food ingredients. These are also the source for chia oil, which is again very rich omega 3 fatty acids, releasing a substantive amount of serotonin into your body.
Buckwheat is considered as one of the richest sources of tryptophan as well as B vitamins from amongst all other starchy carbohydrates. As per the latest research, vitamin B6 is quite instrumental in the synthesis of serotonin in your brain. Make sure to buy organic buckwheat.
Eggs, especially if they are the organic farm eggs, are a very rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, which release huge amounts of serotonin into your body. A major source of natural cholesterol as well, eggs also contain the essential long chain fats E.P.A and D.H.A which also help in improving your mood.
6. Raw dark chocolate
Raw dark chocolate works to lower the levels of stress hormones in your body, including the likes of cortisol and catecholamine. Experts recommend having half a bar of premium raw dark chocolate in order to fight your stress and alleviate your mood.
7. Swiss Chard
The fact that this highly uncommon vegetable is rich in magnesium makes it one of the best foods to fight depression and stay happy. Like all other nutrients, Swiss chard also has its role to play in helping your brain perform its normal functions. In fact, adequate magnesium content in your diet can help ward off the depression-induced cravings and keep you in good spirits.
8. Butternut pumpkin
High in the vital nutrient zinc, the butternut pumpkin is seen as an ideal food to alleviate your moods. Zinc, in all it goodness is instrumental in converting tryptophan into serotonin and is also known to be helpful in keeping the nerve cells alive.
Vitamin B is one of the many nutrients that are used by our body to make serotonin. Asparagus, the healthy green vegetable carries a high content of folic acid which is a type of B vitamin our body uses to make serotonin. Hence, regular intake of asparagus is often recommended in order to keep yourself emotionally balanced.
10. Nettle tea
An herbal drink rich in minerals, vitamin c and flavnoids, nettle tea is believed to have an amazing impact on your serotonin levels and works the best when had as a warm drink.
5 HTP – The Miracle Supplement
There might be situations when even the best of tryptophan-rich foods might not give you the desired impact. In such a case, experts often advise adding on the 5 HTP supplement to your daily diet. Since 5 HTP is even more effective in the production of serotonin than tryptophan itself, it can have a strong impact on your moods levels. In fact, at times, the 5 HTP supplement can even work faster than the foods you eat in raising your serotonin levels.
Here we’ve listed some other foods that are often linked to an increased level of serotonin and hence are helpful in giving your moods a boost.
The Last Word
Has food ever come to your rescue when you were feeling low? Which foods seemed to help you more than others? In fact, research shows that different food groups might trigger varied emotions in different people. So, know yourself and feed your mood with the right foods!