10 Superfoods For A Better Mood
Happiness is certainly a desired condition by all; it’s common to have less than optimistic moments. And while happiness is an internal job, one of the simplest things we can do to help improve our chances of creating it is by choosing the right foods.
Here’s my list of superfoods for a better mood
Sometimes happiness is only a few bites away. It’s completely possible to boost our sense of well-being with nurturing foods, that nourish both the body and soul—we just need to know the right ones to eat.
It’s no mistake that quinoa is the all the rave right now—this ancient super grain-like-seed is an official happy food. It contains magnesium that relaxes the body and the flavonoid quercetin, which has proven to demonstrate anti-depressant effects. I suggest soaking a cup of this gluten-free grain for 8 hours then cooking it similar to rice before consuming. This makes it more digestible and incredibly tasty. Try having it for dinner as well for improved sleep! 1
Chocolate lovers, you’re in for good news. High quality raw cacao is one of the top foods for lifting our mood. It’s a rich source of antioxidants, but more importantly reduces the stress hormone cortisol! It also happens to release dopamine and oxytocin in the brain leaving us in a state of bliss. 2
The word kefir literally translates to “feel good” in Turkish. This is largely due to its rich levels of tryptophan—an amino acid used by the brain to make serotonin (the feel good hormone we all love). Milk kefir also contains high levels of magnesium and B vitamins—both, which elevate mood.
Not to mention, the fermentation process that the milk goes through actually produces probiotic bacteria, which can calm the gut-associated nervous system and even alleviate anxiety. Try making your own milk kefir at home for a potent probiotic beverage.
As mentioned in the point on kefir, probiotics are a key to a happy gut and therefore, a happy brain. Recent research has been proving what the traditional Turkish have known all along, that consuming probiotic-rich foods can diminish symptoms of anxiety and depression. One study conducted on over 700 undergrads consuming a diet of probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and kefir. They were then assessed for personality traits and found that those who consumed probiotic foods had less social anxiety. The research suggests that eating fermented foods like sauerkraut is associated with decreased social anxiety.
5. Fermented spirulina
One of the only truly bio-available sources of vegan omega-3 fatty acids, fermented spirulina is chock full of them, which can improve mood and even lessen depression.
Also known as Rice Bran Solubles, this fluffy and delicious superfood contains an abundance of b-vitamins and antioxidants that improve energy and mood. They have an incredible ability to improve metabolism and energy due to their rich source of b-vitamins, which are necessary for energy metabolism, brain function and neurotransmitter production.
One Japanese study discovered that consuming five cups of green tea per day could lower psychological stress. However, that’s quite a bit of green tea! No worries, matcha green tea is a potent powdery form of green tea that comes with concentrated levels of the nutrients found in green tea.
Particularly caffeine and L-theanine, which have been shown to improve mood and energy. The combination of the two results in the perfect energy balance—caffeine is stimulating and uplifting while L-theanine promotes calm and relaxation. It’s a common drink amongst the Buddhist.
8. Pumpkin Seeds
The amino acidL-tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds can increase a good mood naturally while promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being—it’s even known to be effective for reducing depression. L-tryptophan is also necessary for the production of serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) and melatonin, which can promote happiness and a good night’s sleep.
It’s called the magic bean for a reason! Coffee has been scientifically proven to increase happiness and reduce depression in individuals. While coffee is a stimulant and contains caffeine, consumed in moderation and of high quality, it can improve metabolism, liver efficiency and enhance one’s cognitive function and mood. 3
10. Leafy Greens
We all know we should eat our veggies; however, did you know they could help make you happy? Superfoods for a better mood include Spinach, kale and collard greens. They contain high levels of folic acid, which relieves stress, combats depression and even decreases fatigue. Strive to eat something leafy and green daily, either in a salad, on the side or in a smoothie.