Mood Boosting Foods
Don’t underestimate the power of mood to influence your health and fitness goals. Your mood is one of the biggest daily predictors of fitness success.
It’s true. Your daily, hourly, and even momentary mood state have a huge impact on everything you do, including whether you make it to the gym, avoid sugary snacks, and feel motivated.
Of course, one of the biggest factors in your mood is stress. Reducing stress and relieving tension can further lead to better health and fitness outcomes. Why? Very simply, stress can lead to a negative mood state, and this will totally drain any motivation you may have already had.
But there’s a lot you can do to support a positive mood, avoid negative feelings, and reduce the impact of daily stress. One of the best routes to happiness, believe it or not, is diet. The foods you eat can have a huge impact on how you feel and how you handle stress.
And luckily, the foods that boost your mood also boost your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories and fat as well!
Here are my top 5 picks for mood boosting foods…
Top 5 Mood Boosting Foods
Salmon – Salmon is a great health promoting food choice for a number of reasons. It’s high in protein to support lean muscle growth and makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to support healthy brain functioning.
In fact, research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be a therapeutic treatment for depression in children and adults. With about 6 grams of the healthy monounsaturated fatty acid per piece, salmon is an easy fix for a long stressful day.
For more information on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, including new research about heart health, read my article Omega-3 Fatty Acids: What New Research is Telling Us.
Whole Grains – If you’re suffering from a bad mood, then it’s not a good time to cut down on carbohydrates. Foods rich in carbs have been shown to increase your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a key chemical responsible for supporting positive mood and fighting depression. Just make sure you go with whole grain options whenever you can!
Flaxseed – Flaxseed has been bolstered as a healthy food choice for years, and it’s for good reason. Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, folate, and vitamin B6. You need a good balance of all vitamins and minerals to support a healthy mind, but vitamin B6 has been shown to be particularly helpful in this area. It’s great for reducing the impact of stress and maintaining a positive outlook.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, things can get a little confusing. For more information on what vitamins you should take on a daily basis, read my article on What Vitamins Should You Take.
Lentils – Lentils are high in folate, another important mood boosting ingredient. Low levels of folate have been shown to be related to higher depression and more frequent feelings of sadness. Ginger lentil soup is an easy, mood boosting meal. Cook carrots, onion, ginger lentils, and diced tomatoes in a chicken or vegetable broth. Add fresh garlic, curry powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
Dark Chocolate – Chocolate is super high in antioxidants, as you may have already heard. But it’s important that you go with dark chocolate options. Although these are still high in fat, they’re healthy fats which, like the antioxidants, support a positive mood state. Don’t overindulge, but any extra antioxidant support is better than none.
For more information on another great mood boosting, antioxidant-rich food, read my article on the Benefits of Acai Berry.
Have any questions or feedback about these Mood Boosting Foods? Please leave a comment below…
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