Who among us couldn’t use a mood boost from time to time? Lots of people turn to coffee or other caffeine fixes, comfort foods, sweets, or even alcohol, but did you know that there are some crazy healthy foods that will give you the happies, too? Try some of these and don’t derail your diet and fitness plans for a temporary mood boost!
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Eat carbs (without protein).
I know I’m always writing about the importance of protein but hear me out on this one. Carbs, when consumed without protein or fat, carbs will flood your bloodstream with an amino acid called Tryptophan, which converts into Seratonin (the happy hormone) in your brain. Try snacking on a bowl of airpopped popcorn or an English muffin with jam next time you’re feeling blue and need a burst of happiness!
Eat more fish.
Feeling a bit depressed? Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in fish are useful in regulating moods. A separate study found that eating fish 2 times per week or more lowers the risks of depression and suicide. Salmon and Tuna are the normal go-to sources for this, but you can also find the same benefits (and lower mercury levels) in croaker, haddock, summer flounder, farmed catfish, and shrimp.
Make sure you’re not iron deficient!
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency on the planet, and it most commonly effects children and women of child-bearing age. Lacking enough iron, our bodies begin to feel constantly tired, which is no good! Even if you’ve cut back on your meat intake, consider keeping it in your meals for the benefits of animal-based iron (which the human body absorbs slightly better than plant iron). Pair it with side dishes that are rich in iron and the animal-based iron will help you to better absorb that, too! If you’re going to eat plant-based iron without any meat on your plate, add a side dish that’s high in vitamin C, such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruit, red or green bell peppers, or tomatoes. This well help you to absord at least double the iron that you would otherwise.
Even though moost of us don’t show serious symptoms for it, a lot of us are dehydrated! A commonly overlooked symptom of dehydration is mild depression or having the blues. Try upping your water intake over the course of 2 weeks and see if your mood improves!
What are your favorite mood-boosting foods to get out of a slump?
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