If you find yourself struggling to keep in a good mood or are one of the twenty million Americans with a mood disorder, the solution could be right in your kitchen. Here are some tips to eat your way to being in a better mood.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid – According to studies like one at the University of Pittsburgh, you are more likely to have symptoms of depression if your diet is lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that taking fish oil which is high in omega-3 can help fight off depression by working on the neurotransmitter pathways in the brain and we know that omega-3 is important for proper brain functioning. Foods that are good sources of omega-3 include coldwater fatty fish, bluegreen algae, chia seeds, dark-green leafy vegetables, walnuts, olive oil, and flaxseeds or flax oil.
Vitamin D – Fish is not only a good source of omega-3 fatty acid but also a good source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is known to increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a brain chemical that regulates mood and stimulates feelings of calmness and happiness. You can also get vitamin D by eating fortified cereal, dairy and soy products, and white button mushrooms.
Tryptophan – Foods with tryptophan help you produce more serotonin. This would include foods such as turkey, red meat, dairy, soybeans, shellfish, good carbs like whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds and cashews.
B Vitamins – Folate or vitamin B9 also helps the brain produce serotonin as well as other brain chemicals that affect mood like dopamine and norepinephrine. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, Brussel sprouts, pinto and garbanzo beans, asparagus, peanuts, soybeans, liver, lentils and sunflower seeds are all good mood foods for getting folate in your diet. If you diet is lacking in vitamin B6, you are more prone to symptoms of depression. Adding papaya, oranges, tuna, chicken, turkey, rice and wheat bran, garlic, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds to your food list will help you get this important vitamin.
AFA Bluegreen Algae – Ever wonder why fish is such a good food for the brain? It’s because fish eat algae which is loaded with the essential fatty acids our brains need for healthy brain and nerve cells. Taking AFA bluegreen algae wholefood supplements gives you the essential fatty acids necessary for staying in a good mood and for mood stabilization. This form of bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed is especially useful for the brain as it is better able to pass through the blood brain barrier. Algae, as well as dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, and cereal grasses like wheat and barley grass, is also a rich source of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, that helps boost mood. The nutrients found in AFA bluegreen algae help the brain produce a variety of chemicals that elevate mood such as tryptophan, endorphins, serotonin and PEA. PEA gives bluegreen algae the deep blue pigment and is a precursor to an amino acid functioning as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. For an extra boost of nutrition from algae, this algae supplement gives you a wide variety of minerals and phytonutrients from the lake and sea with a combination of dulse, kelp, fucoidan, Ecklonia cava, bladderwrack, Dunaliella salina, spirulina, chlorella and AFA bluegreen.
How Your Horse Can Help
For most of us horse people, we already know that hanging out with our horses gives us a lift in mood. According to a study at the University of Missouri–Columbia, just petting your dog or cat for 15 minutes can help release serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin and lower the stress hormone cortisol. So next time you find yourself in a bad mood, check your diet to make sure you are getting the right nutrition with good mood foods and spend some time with your pets. You’ll find yourself back in a good mood in no time.
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