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Good Mood Food November 3, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
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Depression in the leading cause of disability in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Nutrition can play a part in improving mood.

To turn your frown upside down (without having to stand on your head) . . . try some Good Mood Food!

According to The Top 100 Healing Foods ~ 100 Foods to Relieve Common Ailments and Enhance Health and Vitality, these foods may alleviate mild depression:

* Bananas ~ tryptophan, an amino acid, aids in the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that improves mood and encourages relaxation.  Other good sources:  poultry, dairy products, and peas.  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 52]

* Goji Berry ~ eating a handful of goji berries will “lift your mood and make you feel happy for the entire day.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 62]

* Brown Rice ~ “When consumed regularly, it may help to ease depression, probably due to its B-vitamin and magnesium content – nutrients needed to calm and strengthen the nerves.” [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 76)

* Almonds ~ an ideal food for the brain and nervous system which also “improves the skin, protects cells from free radicals, and slows down the aging process.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 86]

* Walnuts ~ a powerhouse of nutrients (including Omega-3 fatty acids) which “aid cognitive function and sharpen the memory” as well as keeping “blood vessels flexible.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 88]

* Eggs ~ free range eggs contain “more vitamins and good fats, and less cholesterol than eggs laid by battery hens.” [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 108]

* Salmon ~ good for “lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, easing the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression, and improving skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 110]

And (no surprise here) . . .


* Dark Chocolate ~ “Chocolate possesses phenylethylamine, an amphetamine-like compound that acts as a natural mood enhancer, and theobromine, which is a mild stimulant.  To reap the benefits of dark chocolate, it should be eaten regularly in small amounts.”  [Top 100 Healing Foods, p. 117]

Other tips to elevate mood with food from What To Eat For What Ails You ~ How to Treat Illnesses by Changing the Food and Vitamins in Your Diet:

* Carbohydrates trigger the release of serotonin, our feel-good neurotransmitter.  Focus on complex carbohydrates ~ fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

* Add foods rich in folate, a B-vitamin that may be deficient in people with depression.  Good sources:  spinach, lentils, and peas.

* Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which promote proper brain function and may help relieve depression.

* Reduce your intake of saturated fats and sugar ~ red meat, cheese, butter, and rich desserts.

* Limit or eliminate your intake of alcohol and caffeine.  Alcohol is a depressant that also causes dehydration and fatigue.

Caveat:  Good Mood Food may help to alleviate mild depression.  Severe depression warrants profession treatment.

Other things that help to improve mood naturally:  light and laughter, playful kittens, sunshine and fresh air, roly-poly puppies, regular exercise, bunny rabbits, watching young children at play, mindfulness, pampering, creative visualization, gratitude, meditation, music, and . . . uplifting videos!

Here’s Your Smile For The Day (Reflections from a Cloudy Mirror)

Aah . . . that’s better!   

Quote to Ponder:  We do not laugh because we are happy . . . we are happy because we laugh.

Related posts:  Vim & Vigor via Vinegar * Speaking of Chocolate . . . *  Coffee ~ Friend or Foe? * Get Out!!! * Will This Thought Bring Me Happiness