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What foods help boost your mood and energy?

June 3, 2020

A healthy diet doesn’t just help improve your physical health, it can also help uplift your mood! Although there’s still so much to learn about how food affects our mood, there are a few studies showing that there are some foods that can help stabilize our mood and improve our energy levels. Here are some of them:

Whole Grains
Whole grains are one of the best sources for vitamin B. B vitamins are essential for brain health. Vitamin B1 (thiamin), for instance, plays an important role in turning glucose into energy. Other B vitamins like vitamins B6 and B12 are involved in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are important in mood regulation.

Some of the best examples of whole grains are steel-cut oats, brown rice, amaranth, wild rice, and quinoa.

If you’ve been reading about gut health, you may have come across probiotics. For years, they’ve been known for their essential role in gut health.

In recent studies, it suggests that probiotics may not just be for gut health but for brain health as well. Researchers suggest that the bacteria in the gut sends and receives signals to the brain and consumption of foods rich in probiotics may help improve the symptoms of depression.

You can add probiotics in your diet by eating yogurt, Korean kimchi, miso, pickled vegetables, and tempeh.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There’s a lot of health benefits from including omega-3 fatty acids-rich food in the diet. This includes heart and brain health.

In one study, it shows that people who consumed most fish (a good source of omega-3 fatty acids) are less likely to have depression symptoms.

Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include canola oil, walnuts, flax, and chia seeds.

Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach are rich in folate. The connection between folate and depression isn’t yet fully understood but some studies show that people with depression have lower blood levels of folate.

Increase your folate intake by adding these leafy greens in your diet: artichokes, turnip greens, broccoli, and edamame.

Vitamin D-rich foods
For the past years, various research suggests that vitamin D may help boost one’s mood through its role in the production of serotonin. It’s one of the major neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation.

You can get your daily dose of vitamin D by spending time outdoors (the body naturally produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to UVB rays) and adding these vitamin D-rich foods in your diet: cheese, sardines, egg yolks, and vitamin D-fortified products.

Small changes in your diet can make a difference. Start incorporating some of the foods mentioned in your meals.

If you’re eating healthy but your depression symptoms are not improving even with the conventional intervention (i.e. medications and therapy), then you may consider an alternative treatment like transcranial magnetic stimulation or TMS. NeurOasis TMS specializes in that. You can request an appointment with us by calling (520) 338-2557.