We may feel low and suffer from mood swings at some point or the other due to the ups and downs of life, hormone imbalances or poor nutrition. There are foods that make us cranky and worsen our moods. Many a time when we feel stressed, we crave for snacks that are high on sugar or salt. They may give us an instant high, but lead to quick blood sugar crash and make us even more irritable. Skipping meals and eating erratically too can affect our hormone levels.
Good nutrition can help us manage our mood issues and keep us emotionally stable. Sonia Bakshi, Dietician and Founder of DtF suggests some food options that would regulate your long-term emotional health and manage those mood swings.
If you are feeling low or having mood swings for many days or months, probably a tub of ice-cream will not do the trick anymore. It is the nutritional punch of good old lentils that have all the B Vitamins, protein, zinc, magnesium and other mood-regulators that you are looking for.
A great source of protein, lentils are high on fibre, iron, protein and Vitamin B 6. B vitamins facilitate communication between our nerve cells and low levels of these vitamins can lead to depression and other mood disorders. Besides, lentils also have zinc, magnesium, selenium which correct hormonal imbalance and are thus good for boosting mood. Lentils being high on Vitamin B power increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine that are mood regulators. So, if you are feeling low, don't forget your daily bowl of daal that could cheer your mood more than a packet of chips.
Eggs are not just easy to make for breakfast with wide variety of recipes that you can choose from, they can also give your day a happy beginning. They are a good source of Choline which helps produce neurotransmitters like serotaonin, dopamine etc which will boost your mood. Eggs also have the added power of Omega3 fatty acids, zinc and magnesium which would reduce your anxiety in general. Eggs are also a good source of protein, Vitamin D and B 12, all the things that you need to keep depression at bay.
3. Bell Peppers
Bell Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and potassium and are rich in iron, folate and fibre. They are also high in antioxidants. Studies have shown that Vitamin C helps to improve mood as it regulates neurotransmitter synthesis. Bell peppers can also be included in some quick recipes like rolls, salads, noodles and even as pizza toppings.
The next time you feel the blues, you can rely on these crunchy, tasty colourful veggies to make you feel better.
There are little things that make a big difference to our overall health and mood. Like teaming up your food with a little yoghurt or having buttermilk post meal. Probiotics are good for your gut health and they can go a long way in alleviating depression considering there are researches to prove that gut and brain share a unique connection.
Yoghurt, Buttermilk kimchi can help alleviate depression. Probiotics help in improving gut health, which in turn works on improving mood.
5. Sweet Potato
A sweet way to take care of your overall mental health and improving mood over the time! Sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and fibre that are all associated with mood-boosting properties and help keep depression and mood swings at bay. You can have them plain, steamed or roasted or add them to salads, soups and stews.
Adding a little bit of ghee to your dal or on your rotis can bring many health benefits.
Ghee is known to heal the digestive tract which can lead to better digestion and it has beneficial gut bacteria that supports our mood.
7. Chia seeds
You can add them to your smoothies, puddings, coffee etc. They contain an abundance of protein , fibre, calcium and iron and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
8. Dark Leafy Greens
Last but not the least, nothing can beat the power of greens. Spinach, Kale, Mustard Greens, Collards are rich in Vitamin B, iron and fibre. Iron and Vitamin B help us produce energy and more energy leads us to feeling positive and bolsters our ability to participate in the activities we enjoy.
In the nutshell, timely and nutritious meals must be given priority for a better mental and physical health. Skipping meals and taking empty calories when hungry can make your mood go for a toss affecting your productivity and overall well-being.
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