Food & Nutrition Mental Health

6 Mood Enhancing Foods to Beat the Blues

All of us have experienced mood swings where our joyful nature takes a leave of absence. For no reason at all, you feel low when you should be feeling fine. In a desperate attempt to feel upbeat, you decide to sink your teeth into something sinful like a samosa or a potato wada. But here’s a news flash for you, eating junk food will only worsen your mood and leave you feeling utterly hopeless. Not only will it cause you to feel bloated by successfully promoting indigestion, but it will also leave you feeling guilty for cheating on your healthy diet!

So instead of bearing the brunt of bad decisions, choose mood-enhancing foods that’ll leave you whistling a brand new tune. Here are a few great options.

#1 Dark Chocolate

Who can remain indifferent to the magic of chocolate! Though you can enjoy any bar of your choice, we say the darker, the better. Dark chocolate contains serotonin which is a natural antidepressant. This bar of ‘sweet heaven’ also boosts the production of endorphins that evoke a feeling of pleasure. Now, will you be nice and share a small piece of dark chocolate?

#2 Milk

We all know by now that a glass of warm milk at bedtime gives you a good sleep. So, the next time you are feeling low and don’t have dark chocolate close at hand, grab a glass of warm milk and chill. Packed with protein and other nutrients, this glass of goodness reduces anxiety. If you like cinnamon, cozy up in your bed and take divine sips of warm cinnamon milk. Now, if this is not heaven what is?

Dairy foods are a fantastic source of tryptophan, a naturally calming agent. You can also get your intake of tryptophan from nuts, especially peanuts.

#3 Whole Grains

Carbohydrates have undeservingly got a bad reputation when it comes to weight watching but they get a thumbs up for boosting our mood. Whole grains contain high levels of tryptophan which is necessary for the fusion of serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a mood elevator, while melatonin regulates our sleep patterns.

#4 Nuts

Walnuts are a great means to get our dose of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. Omega-3 is a gratifying fatty acid for it reduces anxiety and builds up your mood. Never knew something ‘fatty’ could actually make you happy! Make a mix of walnuts, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds and you have just made yourself a bowl of joy and nourishment. So simply go nuts!

#5 Celery

Believe it or not, celery is not just a green mixer for your Bloody Mary but it also reduces stress hormones and calms the nerves. For a crunchy, healthy, flavorful munch make yourself a celery dip with dahi (yogurt) or peanut butter. It’s a great mid-day snack that’s also refreshing and healthy!

#6 Fruits & Berries

Fruits such as oranges hold a sweet secret within. Apart from having a high content of immune-boosting vitamin C, they also enhance your mood. This dynamic fruit is known to reduce symptoms of depression by combating free radicals. It is also great for breaking down stress. On the other hand, if you can grab hold of some mangoes, they work wonders too.

Blueberries and strawberries are also good choices as they too are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. These berries reduce cortisol levels thereby decreasing the feeling of anxiousness, and leaving you feeling berry, berry happy!

So next time you’re feeling down, reach for one of these mood elevators. Better still, incorporate them into your daily diet and good things will follow, we promise!

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