Eating Yourself To A Better Mood

food-and-mood

Food is essential to existence and thereby known as the fuel to our bodies. Interestingly enough we wouldn’t imagine putting low quality, harmful or lackluster fuel in our cars, however, that same thought and concern does not apply to how we treat ourselves. If you decide your body is your vehicle and the fuel you fill up on is important then making small changes for the sake of getting the best out of your vehicle is a logical concept.

When food is ingested our bodies release certain chemicals in the brain. Most importantly the release of serotonin is imperative when considering mood. Certain behaviors aid the body’s ability to create and excrete serotonin. For example, sex and exercise are great sources of natural serotonin aside from food.

Serotonin is fundamental to feeling happiness or an increased range of mood. Many psychotropic medications used to treat depression create a synthetic version of serotonin. Well I have one better, how about creating serotonin the way our bodies naturally intended. In depressed individuals serotonin is not produced at a rate needed for overall mood control. Therefore, when feeling blue it is no surprise that you feel better when having sex, exercising, or eating a big piece of chocolate cake. No I am not encouraging to do any of the above-mentioned behaviors in order or at all, they are just a few examples of how our moods are controlled internally and naturally.

According to WebMD there are a few self-help measures when planning your daily meals that can assist with creating serotonin.

  • Choose smart carbs – whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. These foods also increase fiber intake.
  • Increase Omega-3’s – fatty fish (3 times per week), flaxseed, nuts
  • Don’t skip breakfast – skipping breakfast leads to fatigue and does not provide essential fuel for the day. Eat lean protein, good fats, and whole-grain carbs.
  • Exercise – there is a link between obesity and depression. Increased exercise equals increased mood.
  • Switch to a Mediterranean Diet – poor nutrition may lead to depression
  • Get a dose of Vitamin D – increase mood with a supplement or natural sunlight
  • Selenium-Rich foods – seafood, nuts, lean meat, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy.
  • Limit caffeine intake – can lead to tiredness and thereby can reduce mood.

Remember all good things are best in moderation. Never begin a medication regimen without the consent or direction of a physician, even vitamins should be guided by a professional.

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