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Boost Your Mood With Food

As the holiday season approaches, we find ourselves finding it difficult to plan any celebrations after the gruesome incident last week.
Did you know that it has been estimated that by 2020, depression will be the second most disabling disease after heart disease in the Western world where women are twice as likely than men to develop depression. For those who feel anxious, depressed and heavy hearted, here are a few ways that food can help boost your mood.
  • Nourish. Recent research has indicated that our gut is “our second brain” because most of our serotonin receptor sites (happy hormone producers) are in the gut rather than the brain itself. Nourishing with fresh and nutritious food can have a great effect on our mental health.
  • Eat more fish. Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, herring, sardines and tuna can help ease depressive symptoms. Omega 3 can alter brain chemicals linked with mood specifically dopamine and serotonin.
  • Cut out caffeine. If you feel irritable, jittery or anxious, avoid drinking coffee, tea, cola drinks.
  • B vitamins. Folate found in beans, lentils, citrus fruits and dark leafy greens have shown to effect neurotransmitters that impact mood. Lack of B12 is associated with fatigue and depression so boost your intake of eggs and lean protein. B6 found in sweet potatoes can help keep blood sugar levels steady and therefore help prevent mood swings.
  • An amino acid that makes serotonin and is found in bananas, walnuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, chicken and fish.
  • Sesame seeds: Rich in amino acid tyrosine which boost the brain’s dopamine’s level, which helps, boost your feel good hormone, add some tahini to your meals!
  • Boost your iron levels. Having enough iron in your body is important to avoid fatigue and mood change, which can lead to depression. Include more lentils, turkey, spinach and grass fed beef.
  • More magnesium. Magnesium plays an important role in developing serotonin as well. Include more almonds, spinach, cashews and edamame.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause headaches, mood change and poor concentration. Try to drink 2 liters a day.
  • Have some dark chocolate. Yes a little dark chocolate 70% cocoa or higher has shown to reduce stress hormones.
Happy Holidays to all & Let’s pray for Egypt.
Have a healthy weekend,
Nadine El Alaily MA, MSc, NLP Prac
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