Tags: food | mood | energy | fatigue | gut | microbiome | bacteria

Eat These Foods to Boost Your Mood and Energy

granola with berries and chocolate
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 13 March 2023 02:01 PM EDT

If you are feeling tired and sluggish this week after the time change, you are not alone. Research has shown that turning the clocks ahead for even one hour can wreak havoc on your health. In fact, according to Healthline, after the switch to daylight saving time there’s a spike in heart attacks, suicides, automobile accidents and work-related injuries.

Experts say it could take days for your body to catch up with this artificial time change. But you can help the process by eating certain foods that can boost your mood and well-being. Over the years, several studies have shown that opting for healthier diets rich in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains may help improve depression symptoms. A 2022 study found that switching to a Mediterranean diet helped men ages 18 to 25 cope with their depressive symptoms, says Medical News Today.

By improving the gut microbiome, we can influence the communication between the gut and the brain in a positive manner, says Najaf Amin, a senior research associate in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford in the U.K. The abundance of certain bacteria in the gut appears to relate to an increase in depression symptoms, according to a study Amin and her colleagues conducted last year. She says that eating a balanced, varied diet can help maintain bacterial balance in the gut.

In addition, here are some specific suggestions that can boost your mood and energy levels:

Take a magnesium supplement. This powerful mineral can help fight oxidative stress, which can play a role in depression, says Amin.

Add variety to your diet. “When you go to the supermarket instead of buying one kind of beans, buy six kinds,” says Rachel Kelly, author of The Happiness Diet.

Consume more probiotics. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir and prebiotic foods like leafy greens can help improve bacterial diversity in the gut. During fermentation, probiotics are created. These live microorganisms support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels. Since 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in your gut, a healthy gut may boost your mood.

Eat more omega-3 foods. Oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and tuna, and walnuts can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and may help to relieve depression symptoms.

Enjoy dark chocolate. Experts say that chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds including caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine — a substance similar to cannabinoids that has been linked to improved mood.

Go bananas. Eating bananas, which are high in vitamin B6, may turn your frown upside down. This important vitamin helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. When paired with fiber (bananas and bran cereal or oats), sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream, allowing for more stable sugar levels and better mood control. Blood sugar levels that are too low may lead to irritability and mood swings.

Be berry happy. Eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression. A diet rich in antioxidants may help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders. Berries are particularly high in anthocyanins, the pigment that gives certain berries their purple and blue hues. One study linked a diet rich in anthocyanins with a 39% lower risk of depression symptoms. If you can’t find fresh berries, buy frozen fruit ─ it is frozen at its peak of ripeness to maintain the maximum amount of nutrients.

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Health-News
If you are feeling tired and sluggish this week after the time change, you are not alone. Research has shown that turning the clocks ahead for even one hour can wreak havoc on your health. In fact, according to Healthline, after the switch to daylight saving time there's a...
food, mood, energy, fatigue, gut, microbiome, bacteria, depression, probiotics, magnesium, berries, chocolate
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2023-01-13
Monday, 13 March 2023 02:01 PM
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