We’ve all heard the saying, “you are what you eat” with the common phrase implying that the types of foods you consume directly correlate with your outer appearance. But your food affects your body in more ways than one.
Researchers have conducted studies to discover how foods can make on impact on a person’s mood. There are several main components in food that can have a large effect on your feelings throughout the day and some may surprise you.
Here are five foods to improve your mood:
Not only does this leafy green strengthen you, but two components play a huge role in boosting your mood to keep you at ease – folic acid and magnesium. Consume two cups of spinach to satisfy your daily folic acid needs and you’ll stay focused and concentrated all day long with a good mood.
Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids that can improve your motor and behavioural skills and make you feel smarter and more alert, and can improve your mood. Of course, just like every other nut, walnuts are also high in fat and calories, so you need to consume them in moderate amounts.
While caffeine may increase your stress level, green tea has theanine, an ingredient that keeps you calm, cool and collected. Rather than indulging in a caffeinated beverage, sit down with a cup of warm to quickly calm those nerves.
Eating oily, fatty fish (salmon and tuna) and mussels will give you omega-3s- a key mood-boosting nutrient and one our bodies don’t produce. Omega-3s alter brain chemicals linked with mood (specifically dopamine and serotonin). Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and aggression, while dopamine is a “reward” chemical that the brain relates in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating.
When you’re stressed, the scent of coconut may blunt your natural “fight or flight” response, slowing down your heart rate. People who breathed in coconut fragrance in a small pilot study at Columbia University saw their blood pressure recover more quickly after a challenging task. The researchers speculate that inhaling a pleasant scent enhances alertness while soothing our response to stress.