Eat your Way to Feeling Good…

Food that will boost your mood

In the previous issues of What Women Want… Magazine, the relation between nutrition, preserving the fountain of youth, anti-aging tips, and trimming down fat has been extensively discussed. A lot of sports nutritionists have also shed light on the importance of providing the human body with optimally dialed in macro and micro nutrient ratios to guarantee peak sports performance while at the same time minimizing the period required for mental and physical recovery.

Depression and anxiety are two of the major psychological drawbacks human beings of the modern era have been suffering from, as people became more and more isolated, living on individual islands, due to the presence of large numbers of social networks, which made the virtual world literally substitute the real world. Going out and mingling with people has been replaced by sending messages and e-mails, in order to save time in a decade that goes by the proverb “time is money”.

To begin with, one has to state, that opting for anti-depressants and antianxiety medications needs the consultation of a physician. In addition to this, a lot of anti-depressant medications have numerous long-term side-effects among which is the increase in the suicide tendency. Instead of opting for the easy solution of popping in the magic pill to relieve attacks of anxiety and depression, a dedicated nutrition regimen however may help to eliminate these symptoms more efficiently, and with less side effects.

This dedicated nutrition program can have a tremendous effect on the mental state, just as a nutrition program can have a significant impact on any other  number of diseases and conditions. In fact, if one has been diagnosed with depression, or in case of the presence of some or all of the symptoms of depression, one should take a closer look at every component of the daily nutrition program. Special attention should be dedicated to diet and sleep patterns in order to determine if there are simple and basic modifications to provide a type of natural antidepressant effect for the complicated human organism. Before however making any dietary adjustments, one should talk things over with a physician, especially if the person in question is currently taking an antidepressant medication that might interact with specific food items (drug-food interaction).As a matter of fact, one has to point out that depression; anxiety and other psychological conditions are mainly caused by the presence of an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain.

As a rule of thumb, and to achieve top mental health we should eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, plus lean protein and fat free dairy. The following food groups should be on top of the feel good shopping food list.

Whole-Grain Foods

Whole-grain foods including bread and pasta are made of complex carbohydrates that boost the level of serotonin in in the brain. This chemical helps relieve depression as serotonin is a mood enhancer. Eating whole-grain foods regularly helps regulate mood and keep the spirit at almost euphoric levels, when compared to their processed counterparts.

Foods With Tryptophan

Bananas, milk, peanut butter, sesame seeds, oats, chicken, turkey and nuts are foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan. As tryptophan levels increase in the brain and mind-leading to a feelingof being less miserable and more calm- sleepy feeling often arise. Eating these foods on a regular basis will contribute to keep depression at bay and also help people to relax. There are however almost 50 different medications which interact with tryptophan containing foods. Therefore, it is very wise to first evaluate the medication regimen, before introducing any tryptophan rich food item.

Omega-3 Foods

Some foods contain omega-3 fatty acids that can be helpful in combating depression. This fatty acid cannot be created in the human body and therefore it must come from what is ingested. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines, whole grains and walnuts. Eating foods with omega-3 is not a cure for depression but it does improve overall health and offers a chance at fighting depression too, when appropriately implemented along with the other vital components of the antidepressant nutrition program.

Foods With Folic Acid

Foods that contain folic acid help regulate and keep levels of serotonin in the brain on high levels. Among foods that include folic acid are spinach, lentils and whole-grain cereals. Eating foods with folic acid every day will help keep the mood perky and bright. Additional foods that help the brain use serotonin include avocado and chocolate. Eating foods that help the brain utilize serotonin will help limit the unwelcoming moods of depression.

Last but not least, one should also point out, that monitoring the calorie count/caloric expenditure balance is as vital as watching the types of foods that a person is ingesting and the times of day at which they are eaten. Special attention should be given to the fact to avoid skipping breakfast. As the old proverb says, it is the most important meal of the day, and regularly eating a healthy and balanced breakfast can improve energy levels and alleviate numerous depression symptoms.

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