At times when you feel down, you may often get the urge to turn to food to lift your spirits. However, the high-calorie, sugary treats that people usually eat come with their share of negatives. So, are there any mood-boosting foods for depression? Here, we will discuss some healthy foods that are help tackle depression:
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of the best foods to boost one’s mood. The sugar in dark chocolate works as a quick fuel for the brain. Moreover, dark chocolate releases myriad feel-good compounds, such as theobromine, caffeine, and N-acylethanolamine, which are similar to cannabinoids and can uplift your mood. However, there has been some debate about whether dark chocolate has adequate compounds to trigger psychological responses. Regardless, it is an excellent source of flavonoids that enhance the flow of blood to your brain and brain health, and reduce the body’s inflammation levels. Moreover, the hedonic rating of chocolate is also quite high. It means that the texture, pleasant taste, and smell of chocolate helps promote good mood.
As milk chocolate has added ingredients, such as fat and sugar, it is best to go with dark chocolate, which has more flavonoids and low added sugar. Curtail your consumption to only one or two small squares at a time, because it is a high-calorie food.
2. Fermented foods
There are some new and emerging studies in gut health, which suggest that fermented foods play a pivotal role in maintaining the healthy intestinal microbiota. These have a direct impact on your health and behavior. Some fermented foods, such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt improve mood and gut health. With the fermentation process, live bacteria thrive in food items, converting sugar into acids and alcohol. Through this process, probiotics are created. The live microorganisms promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and boost serotonin levels. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, directly impacts human behavior, including appetite, sex drive, and stress.
Some studies suggest that the more fruit you eat, the lower will be your risk for depression. Fruits are an excellent source of micronutrients and are also a mood-boosting food. If you like having a bit of sweetness in your diet, then fresh fruits should be your go-to pick. It is advisable to include a variety of fruits in your diet. Always aim to consume a minimum of two cups of fresh fruits daily. One of the best fruits for improving your mood is bananas.
Blueberries have higher antioxidants than any fruit or vegetable. They have great brain-boosting benefits. The presence of flavonoids, a prevalent antioxidant, in blueberries helps improve memory, regulate mood, and shield the brain from the impacts of aging.