You are what you eat and that also includes your mood. While food nourishes and keeps us alive, it can also serve to accommodate us as we go through different mood-swings. As stated in the book The Happy Kitchen: Good Food Mood, there are foods for every mood.
In addition to providing a nutritional boost, some foods can get you in the appropriate mood so that you can better complete your tasks.
Our mood-changing foods
If you’re feeling… anxious
It would be hard not to experience some form of anxiety in this fast-paced world. And while a glass of wine comes with a range of benefits, we don’t recommend using it as a way to ease your anxious thoughts.
Luckily, there are other foods that can help.
According to a 2013 Japanese study, low levels of vitamin B6 in the body have been linked to anxiety and panic attacks. If you’re looking to increase your levels of vitamin B6, the best foods to eat will be avocados, pinto beans, pistachio, and sunflower seeds.
In addition to munching on sunflower seeds, drinking a calming cup of chamomile tea can also help as studies have shown its ability to reduce anxiety symptoms (1).
If you’re feeling…angry
If you feel your anger simmering, enjoy some nuts and seeds as a delicious, healthy snack. You can also incorporate more avocados into your diet.
Aside from upping your omega-3 intake, you can also eat more zinc-rich foods. A 2010 study suggested that women who consume foods rich in zinc may reduce their anger levels. That being said, salmon, mackerel, almonds, and walnuts contain both omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
If you’re experiencing… brain fog
If you’re having trouble staying focused and maintaining your concentration, there are some foods that will help to clear up your brain fog.
Choline is a nutrient that, when ingested, partakes in helping brain cells produce acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter that encourages mental focus. Choline can be found in broccoli, liver, peanuts, and quinoa.
Also, as the brain is made up of a large amount of omega-3 fatty acid DHA, eating healthy fats is a sure way to support brain function. DHA can be found in algae, walnuts, and fatty fish such as salmon. If you’re not sure how to start eating more salmon, try this delicious Mango Teriyaki Salmon and Brown Rice recipe.
Be sure to add a serving of green leafy vegetables to your meal as their vitamin K and lutein content has been shown to boost brain power (2).
If you’re feeling…romantic
If you’re looking to enjoy a romantic night in, it’s best to indulge in foods that will entice the senses and boost your libido.
Naturally-libido boosting nutrients include collagen, iron, vitamin C, and zinc. The gradual decrease in collagen in the body can affect a man’s ability to maintain an erection, yet vitamin C encourages both blood circulation and collagen production – both of which can enhance libido.
There are other aphrodisiac foods that are rich in zinc and these are oysters and dark chocolate.
In addition to food choices, here are some essential oils that can also enhance your romantic night in.
If you’re feeling…sad
Comfort foods are often seen as a large serving of chocolate ice cream. Thankfully, there are ways you can get your mood up without compromising your health.
Nutrients that can help to boost your mood include omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D, E, and B12. In fact, studies have found that deficiencies in these minerals can increase one’s risk of depression (3,4,5). In addition to this, our guts have now become known as the second brain due to their ability to influence our mood. Aside from adding more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D-rich foods to your diet, such as mushrooms, be sure to include foods that can cater to your gut. This includes fermented foods such as kefir and sauerkraut.
If you’re feeling…sluggish
If you find yourself low on energy and lethargic, don’t grab the closest energy drink but rather opt for a cup of green tea.
Matcha tea, in addition to being great for the skin, can provide you with an energy boost thanks to the amino acid L-theanine.
If you’re feeling…stressed
Overeating is common when we find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed. Instead of reaching for a packet of processed chips, try eating some leafy greens.
The magnesium and folate found in spinach and other leafy greens helps to produce neurotransmitters that can reduce stress levels. Another food that can calm you down when you’re stressed is blueberries. These little blue and nutritional bombs are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants – both of which can provide stress relief.
Want to know more?
While eating these foods can cater to your every mood, there are also daily habits that you can adopt to ensure that you live a long and healthy life. Click here to discover 16 ways science says will help us live longer.