There are a lot of factors regarding mood and emotion. Although there may be a lot going on externally, there’s also a great deal going on internally. The foods you consume can have a direct impact on the way you feel.
There’s a distinct difference between mood and emotions. Emotions are specific feelings that are targeted at an external stimulus. Whereas your mood is a more generalized, internal state. Basically, emotions can be expressed and are shorter in duration; while moods tend to last longer and are not expressed externally.
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How does food come into play? Well, without nutrient-rich food habits, your body and brain cannot function properly. Your brain needs food in order to gain energy and synthesize vital neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain). There are certain neurotransmitters that are directly related to mood.
By changing the following ten food habits, you could potentially boost your mood, while improving overall healthy eating habits:
1. Do Not Skip Breakfast
When you wake up, your body is running on low reserves. Your first meal provides energy for your brain, allowing you to kickstart the day. Remember, it’s also important to be conscious of WHAT you’re healthy eating food habits. Make a quick and easy smoothie with some whole-grain toast. There are so many fast and easy options. If you eat breakfast, you’ll avoid a mood crash by mid-day.
2. Drink More Water
If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Even the slightest dehydration can affect someone’s mood. It can also lead to poor levels of concentration and increased fatigue. You should be Drink More Water 7-8 glasses of water a day, with each glass measuring 8 ounces.
3. Eat More Dark Leafy Greens
Greens are an easy addition to any meal. When you consume greens such as spinach, kale, and asparagus, you’re consuming high levels of folate. This B-vitamin is essential for producing serotonin and dopamine.
Both serotonin and dopamine are directly linked to one’s mood. Some studies have shown that low levels of folate in your blood, can create symptoms of depression. You can also get this vitamin from sunflower seeds, beets, and oranges.
4. Eat Often
You should be eating a snack between meals. In fact, you should be healthy eating food habits something every three hours or so. Once again, you need to choose the right options. Nibble on nuts, yogurt, fruit, vegetables, hummus, or any other nutrient-dense item. You need to keep your blood sugar stable. This will help you maintain a more positive mood.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
In order to maintain a stable mood, you need to eat a balanced diet. There are so many beneficial fruits and vegetables, which provide different vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet also includes protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Also, make sure you stay away from highly processed and refined food habits.
Our brain chemistry is extremely complex, requiring a balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, sugars, and fats. In order for optimal functioning, a balanced diet needs to be consumed. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, make sure you’re properly supplementing for protein.
6. Cut Back on Caffeine
If you drink too much coffee, you could affect your sleeping patterns. Not getting enough sleep can have a negative effect on mood. Since the half-life of caffeine is around 6 hours, you should not be consuming caffeine past 3 PM.
7. Eat More Fish
Considering the brain is 60% fat, omega-3 fatty acids are always welcomed. Unfortunately, many people are deficient when it comes to this essential fatty acid. There is growing evidence that an omega-3 deficiency is linked to poor moods and even depression. You should consume fatty fish such as salmon or tuna, 2-3 times weekly.
8. Switch to Dark Chocolate
We all need a chocolate fix once in a while. Instead of reaching for low-quality milk chocolate, purchase organic, dark chocolate. Due to an antioxidant in dark chocolate, endorphin levels are elevated. These are natural opiates that boost mood. It also has an effect on serotonin levels, further influencing a positive mood.