In her report published on the American "Healthline" website, writer Katie Davidson said that research dealing with the relationship between nutrition and mental health began to emerge in recent times.
It is essential to know that mood can be affected by several factors, such as stress, surroundings, lack of sleep, genetics, mood disorders, and undernutrition. Therefore, it is difficult to prove the ability of food to raise your spirits accurately.
However, some foods can improve brain health and certain types of mood disorders. Here are six healthy foods that can change your mood for the better:
1- Fatty fishThe author explained that "omega-3" fatty acids are a group of essential fats that should be obtained through your diet because your body cannot produce them alone. These fish - like salmon and white tuna - are rich in two types of these acids, docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid that are associated with low levels of depression.
Omega-3 acids contribute to the fluidity of the membrane of the brain cells, and they seem to have significant roles in brain development and cellular signalling.
A review of clinical trials showed that in some studies, taking "omega-3" in the form of fish oil reduces depression.
The author stated that although there was no standard dose, most experts agree that most adults should obtain at least 250 to 500 mg of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid combined.
Given that 100% of salmon provides 2,260 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, eating these fish several times a week is a great way to introduce these fats into your diet.
2- Dark chocolateChocolate is rich in many mood-enhancing compounds, and sugar can improve your mood because it is a quick fuel source for your mind. Moreover, chocolate can secrete a series of satisfying compounds such as caffeine.
In addition, dark chocolate contains a high percentage of flavonoids that are of tremendous benefit to health, as it enhances blood flow to your brain and reduces inflammation, which improves the return of the brain and improves your mood.
The chocolate's good taste, silky texture, and delicious aroma make you feel enjoyable and gives your mood some fun.
However, it is advisable to consume dark chocolate, because milk chocolate contains added ingredients such as sugar and fat, while dark concentrated in it a higher proportion of flavonoids, and does not contain a large amount of added sugar.
3- BananasBananas are among the most prominent ingredients that can turn our moods upside down, as they contain a high percentage of vitamin B6, which helps synthesize mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Moreover, a large banana (136 g) contains 16 g of sugar and 3.5 g of fibre.
When sugars are associated with fibres, their release occurs slowly in the bloodstream, which allows blood sugar levels to be adjusted and mood better controlled. So low blood sugar levels make us feel anxious and moody.
4- BerriesEating a diet rich in antioxidants may help manage infections associated with depression and other mood disorders. Notably, berries contain a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds.
The berries also contain anthocyanins, the pigment that gives it their blue-violet colour. One study indicated that a diet rich in anthocyanins reduces symptoms of depression by 39%.
If you can't find fresh berries, try to buy the frozen berries that freeze at the height of ripeness with the goal of preserving the maximum amount of antioxidants possible.
5- Nuts and seedsThe author stated that nuts and seeds are rich in vegetable proteins, healthy fats, and fibre, as well as rich in tryptophan acid, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-altered serotonin.
Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and nuts, as well as pumpkin seeds, sesame, and sunflower, are excellent sources of tryptophan acid.
Some nuts and seeds like Brazilian nuts, almonds, and pine nuts are good sources of zinc and selenium.
The decrease in these minerals, which are important in the functioning of the brain, is related to the high rates of depression, despite the need for more research in this regard.
6- CoffeeCaffeine in coffee prevents a complex that appears naturally called adenosine to bind to brain receptors that support fatigue, thereby enhancing alertness and attention. Moreover, caffeine increases the release of mood-neutralizing neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
In this regard, a study of 72 people revealed that coffee with or without caffeine significantly improved mood, indicating that it contains other compounds that influence mood.
The researchers attributed this result to various phenolic compounds, similar to chlorogenic acid.