We’ve all had those long and tiring days where we give in to the temptation to dig in to a sugary delight or pick up a greasy takeout for dinner. When we’re tired, many of us tend to turn to sugar-laden or calorie-packed foods to lift our spirits – or because we simply don’t have the energy to cook a healthy meal. And while eating the occasional bad meal is understandable, unhealthy food can negatively impact your overall mental and physical health.
Want to stick with quick but healthy food options? Check these great mood foods out:
Dark chocolate has a special mention as a good mood food, and it’s perfectly fine to eat a small amount of it every day. We don’t recommend eating sugary foods when you’re feeling down, but the sugar content of dark chocolate is usually lower than other chocolate and it’s a quick source of brain fuel. On top of that, dark chocolate has many other components that can boost your mood, such as caffeine and flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and increase your brain’s blood circulation, ultimately promoting brain health. The taste, texture, even the smell of dark chocolate can all help enhance your mood.
A quick glass of milk can turn your bad mood into a good one. That’s because dairy products, such as milk and yoghurt, contain a mood-boosting substance called tryptophan. This is a type of amino acid that converts into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that drives your sense of happiness and wellbeing. Besides these, dairy products are also good for your physical health since they are packed with magnesium and calcium that help strengthen your bones and muscles.
Green leafy vegetables
Of course, we all know that loading up with those leafy greens is good for your overall health and wellbeing, and one reason is because they are high in Vitamin B folate that helps to lift your mood. A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) revealed that folate deficiency is common for patients with depression and dementia. In a nutshell, folate (folic acid) has particular effects on mood and cognitive and social function. So, the next time you’re feeling blue - snack on some greens instead of reaching for the crisps.
Vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C-rich foods have antioxidant powers that could provide you with mood-boosting effects. People who have high oxidants in their body are more prone to stress and anxiety. Eating fresh citrus fruit and vegetables, such as oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes and guava will help to cleanse your body from free radicals that can cause a bad mood.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and tuna (canned or fresh) are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which are proven to provide heaps of benefits for the body. Many studies confirm that Omega-3s may reduce the risk of some cancers as well as other health conditions, and now, growing research links it to improving mental health. Researchers now see the potential of Omega-3 fatty acids from these kinds of fish to provide a “happy” mood and may even help in the treatment of mood disorders in the future.
Oatmeal is called comfort food for a reason. Oats are full of complex carbohydrates, and they are an effective mood booster because they slowly release energy into your bloodstream rather than that quick rush that comes from sugary foods (a rush that quickly dissipates). So, if you want to lift your spirits early in the morning and keep a stable good mood, eat a bowl of oatmeal. Oats also contain fibre that can help to reduce cholesterol, provide an increased feeling of fullness and promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
Bananas are super versatile and a true fuel food. They are high in Vitamin B6, which helps promote happy mood synthesizers and the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. They also contain fibre and sugar, and when the fibre is combined with sugar, it slows down the process of sugar going into the bloodstream. If that happens, you will have stable blood sugar levels, essentially keeping you in a good mood.
Good food, good mood
These good mood foods - and others such as fermented foods, berries, nuts, seeds and coffee - can have a direct impact on your mental and physical health. So, it’s important to stock up your pantry and fridge with these wonder foods. Switching to a healthy eating regime can be a bit of a drain on the budget when you’re just starting out but if you need additional funds, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $1,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra money. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – now that’s sure to put you in a good mood!