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Foods and Moods

healthy foods prepared for cooking

“Your diet is a key factor in how your brain works, and what you eat can affect your emotions,” says nutritional therapist Christine Bailey for Wellness Journal magazine. “Choosing a healthy diet is a simple way to a happier you.” If you are feeling down in the dumps, irritable, or have no motivation, it might be a good time to rethink what you’re eating and how it can impact how you’re feeling. “Studies have shown that people with depression often eat food that can make them feel worse — usually what we’d call ‘comfort food.’” Luckily, you can make healthy changes to what you’re eating and it will directly impact your moods.

Your Mood and The Food it Chooses

What you eat has a direct correlation to how you feel. Correlation doesn’t always mean causation, but in this case, it does! “If you eat a sugary snack you’ll get a spike of energy, followed by a crashing low,” explains Bailey. “Skipping meals or not eating enough can also result in falling blood sugar levels, which can make us feel irritable.” In recovery, we want to avoid hanging on to little ways that change the way we feel. Keeping a balanced diet can help us avoid depending on sugar or caffeine for a mood boost.

The Happy Hormone

Serotonin is known as the happy hormone because it directly impacts our moods. While serotonin isn’t found in foods, Bailey explains, tryptophan is. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to boost serotonin production, with the help of a few carbohydrates. “Carbs cause the body to release more insulin, enhancing the absorption of tryptophan, which can then be converted into serotonin,” says Bailey. This is why we should eat foods high in tryptophan, such as protein, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. There are other good foods we should be eating, too. Vitamin D, omega-3 fats, zinc, and tyrosine have also been proven to boost our moods. Eating well-rounded meals ensures that we will get all the nutrients we need to help us feel happy and healthy. 

Happy Foods

“If you’re looking to eat your way to happiness, try including some of these foods daily and note how you feel,” urges Bailey. These foods include the things we mentioned above that help to boost your mood.

  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Reishi mushrooms
  • Salmon
  • Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate
  • Eggs

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you get on the right track when it comes to what you eat. Call us today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you today!