Super Food – Super Mood: 5 Super foods that will Lift Your Spirits
In this day and age of medical technology, we may find it surprising to re-think the possibility that simple foods can affect the way we perceive our life and ultimately our quality of life – yes, we once knew this back in the day..somewhere along the way we have forgotten this truth.
It is true and we now have scientific proof. The healthiest foods have the remarkable ability to keep our emotions in a positive direction, keep our minds focused and our energy high..not to mention vibrant all-over health.
There is much evidence showing that even the wrong ‘foods’ such as sugar can affect the output of the brain protein BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). The more BDNF you have, the better your mood, memory and the smarter you are. In fact, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease are all associated with a lack of BDNF.
So step away from the processed foods and keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods and especially these 5 super foods for adding sunshine, energy and optimal health to your life:
- Wild Salmon. Fatty fish that is high in omega 3 fats have a direct impact on reducing depression, funky moods and elevating mood. Populations who eat the most omega 3 fats found in fish have the lowest rates of depression, bi-polar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (winter blues). One 2008 study found fish oil to have the same impact in reducing depression as Prozac Omega-3s alter brain chemicals linked with mood—specifically dopamine and serotonin. (Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression).
- Chocolate. Okay you knew this. :) Research now shows that eating chocolate can reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. Chocolate is high in the mineral magnesium that helps to reduce stress and anxiety as well. If you do indulge, make sure to use dark chocolate only and no more than an ounce or the pounds that you may acquire will cause its own stress
- Yogurt. Yogurt without added sugar is part of a group of foods (cultured foods such as Kefir, pickles, cottage cheese, Kimchi, buttermilk and more) that are high in beneficial bacteria. These healthy bacteria (we have 2-3 lbs of these bacteria that line the intestinal tract) are not just important for optimal health – but our mood as well. Our digestive tract is where our ‘second brain’ resides. 70% of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin is created right in our gut and not our brain as most believe and 70% of our immune system resides there as well.
- Tomatoes. If you could simply stop inflammatory molecules from creating a sad mood – would you? Of course. It turns out that the compound that makes tomatoes red – Lycopene – also helps prevent depression. Tomatoes also contain other mood enhancers such as vitamin B-6, magnesium, folate and tryptophan that are required to produce critical mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
- Chili Peppers. The brain is loaded with receptors for Capsaicin – the active ingredient that makes these peppers hot and effective in reducing not just pain but a cranky mood as well. Our brain responds to capsaicin by releasing endorphins that are similar to morphine receptors and have a general calming effect.
So look no further than your grocery list to increase your mood in a positive way and right away! Better energy and a more stable mood is yours!
To Your Health,
© 2013 DLS HealthWorks, LLC.
Lori Shemek, PhD, Health and weight loss expert, is the best-selling author of Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!