Food has a significant impact on our entire health, both physical and emotional. According to experts, what you eat impacts how you feel.
‘You must have often heard (or experienced) that chocolate boosts your mood. Similarly, carbohydrates are also known to make one feel better. Foods have specific ingredients that can make you feel upbeat,’ says Delnaaz Chanduwadia, chief dietitian at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.
She said that several studies have demonstrated the link between diet and brain health. The expert discusses certain meals that are beneficial to one’s well-being.
Cocoa or dark chocolate
Cocoa or dark chocolate is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that our brains need to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is an important hormone that helps to keep our moods in check.
Green tea is high in antioxidants such as catechin (EGCG), which aids in brain function. It also improves a person’s attentiveness. It aids in relaxation and memory enhancement.
Omega-3 rich foods
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids provide a number of advantages. It is an important fatty acid that helps regulate heart disease, aids weight reduction, works as an antioxidant and aids joint lubrication, among other things. It aids in the treatment of depression. Omega-3 is found in foods such as salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds.
Bell pepper is high in vitamin A and a good source of vitamin B6, an important nutrient for optimal brain development and function. It also aids in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine hormones (influencing mood). Salads with coloured bell peppers or stir-fried bell peppers are delicious.
Leafy green veggies
The B vitamin folate is found in spinach and methi. A lack of folate can impair the metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline (neurotransmitters important for mood).
Fermented foods aid in the growth of probiotic bacteria and the maintenance of gut health. Probiotic-rich foods include kimchi, buttermilk, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, pickled vegetables, kefir and yoghurt. These keep us in a good mood.
Nuts are a great source of vitamins, minerals, proteins and lipids. Magnesium is also abundant in nuts. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of depression.
Caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine, which improves performance and mood.