Grandma’s cookies, mom’s chicken soup, dad’s cheeseburgers, all of these things are instant mood boosters because of the memories they carry.
Food is one of the great joys of life. Everybody has their favorite comfort food that instantly makes them feel better.
But did you know there are foods that are proven to improve your mood on their own?
Many foods carry minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that can give you a mood boost when eaten. Here’s six of them:
Salmon (and other fatty fish) contain omega-3 fatty acids. Your body can’t produce these acids on their own, so you have to get them through your diet. Omega-3s are linked to decreased depression, anxiety, and increased brain function.
Coffee and green tea
Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee or tea?
Of course, coffee has caffeine, which increases alertness and attention. It also increased the production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, that work to increase mood.
Green tea also has caffeine, but in a lower dosage than coffee. It won’t give you the shakes or increase your anxiety, but it’ll give you some of the benefits. It also has L-theanine, which has been linked to reduced depression and anxiety.
Of course, chocolate is on this list! It’s delicious, but there are plenty of science-backed benefits to eating some dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and other mood-boosting compounds like caffeine and theobromine. It may also increase brain function and reduce inflammation. On top of all of that, it’s delicious!
Blueberries are very high in antioxidants known as flavonoids. These have been shown to increase brain function and cognition. They’re also delicious, low in calories, and full of fiber, making them an ideal addition to smoothies, oatmeal, or on their own as a snack!
Yogurt – like other fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha – is full of probiotics. Probiotics help healthy bacteria in your gut develop and thrive.
This, in turn, may increase serotonin levels and make you feel happier and less stressed. Up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced by the healthy bacteria in your gut. A healthy gut also may help brain health and lower depression.
Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and chard are high in magnesium. This element has been shown to increase serotonin levels and boost mood. Many American diets are also low in magnesium. Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and some nuts are also great sources of magnesium!
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