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13 Foods for a Better Mood and Reduced Anxiety

Spread your lips and boost your mood

By Lizyanne ImmaculatePublished about a month ago 6 min read
13 Foods for a Better Mood and Reduced Anxiety
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Stress and negative emotions are important parts of our lives, not less than physical health. Even though exercise, sleep, and meditation are crucial to enhancing mood and reducing anxiety, diet has been left out in this process. There exists a list of foods that have been scientifically tested to help in lifting mood and combating anxiety. The following are thirteen such foods and how they are good for mental health as well as how they can be eaten:

1. Fatty Fish

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Omega-3 fatty acids mostly EPA and DHA are available in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout. These essential fats are essential for brain functions and have been noted to reduce incidences of depression and anxiety.

- Why It Works: Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to the formation of brain cell membranes, decrease inflammation processes, and support neuroplasticity, which is the capacity of the brain to form new neural connections.

- Incorporation Tips: Include two portions of fatty fish per week in your diet. You can opt for a grilled salmon, sardine salads, or mackerel sandwiches.

2. Dark Chocolate

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Dark chocolate is not only yummy, but it also has the power to enhance your mood.

- Why It Works: Dark chocolate has antioxidants like flavonoids, caffeine as well as theobromine that boost the brain activity and mood. It also elicits the release of endorphins and serotonin ‘the happiness hormones’ in the body.

- Incorporation Tips: A small portion of a dark chocolate bar (70% cocoa or more) can be consumed on a daily basis. You can sprinkle dark chocolate shavings on top of oatmeal or mix it with yogurt.

3. Fermented Foods

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Also, any form of fermented food like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and even miso are good for the gut, which is vital for mental health.

- Why It Works: These are perfect sources of probiotics which are live bacteria that are helpful for the proper working of the gastrointestinal tract. A healthy gut may even produce serotonin; a mood stabilizer.

- Incorporation Tips: It is recommended that at least one portion of fermented foods should be taken in a day. It can be used in stir fry and incorporated in recipes or have yogurt with fruit or kefir for instance.

4. Berries

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Among fruits, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries have antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers.

- Why It Works: Berries give nutrients called antioxidants that counter free radicals stress and inflammation that cause depression and anxiety. It is also relevant to say that berries are also associated with better cognition and prevention of brain aging.

- Incorporation Tips: Add berries to your bowl of cereal, smoothie or salad for a healthy breakfast or snack. They also become good appetizers when taken independently of the others.

5. Leafy Greens

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The richest vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are available in spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.

- Why It Works: It also provides high levels of folate, magnesium and iron that are important in the proper functioning of the brain and in the manufacturing of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

- Incorporation Tips: Salads can be taken separately or be incorporated into other meals in form of soups and stews among others.

6. Nuts and Seeds

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Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and other nuts are fit and beneficial for health and the brain.

- Why It Works: It is not a source of vitamins and minerals, however, it is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Nuts and seeds also contain tryptophan amino acid that is used in the manufacture of serotonin.

- Incorporation Tips: Try to take a small palm-full of nuts or seeds as snack, try to include them in your cereal or smoothie, sprinkle them over your meal or a yogurt.

7. Oats

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Oats belong to the group of whole grains that help to support energy needs in the body and are also beneficial from the fitness point of view.

- Why It Works: Oats are rich in fibers which aid in regulating sugar flukes in the body and therefore assist in sustaining energy levels during the day. It also contains B vitamins, now known to improve the physical brain, and iron, helping to regulate moods.

- Incorporation Tips: They consist of starting your day by taking oatmeal which should be accompanied by slices of fruits, nuts, and honey. You can also use oats in baking or develop an oatmeal dish for the next day to consume the oatmeal in the morning.

8. Bananas

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Bananas are easy to handle fruit and they packed with vitamins and minerals essential to our body.

- Why It Works: One of the most significant nutrients, bananas are rich in vitamin B6, a key component in the production of serotonin. They also deliver potassium and magnesium, which are well-known for contributing to proper nervous system function and alleviation of stress.

- Incorporation Tips: Have banana in snacks, blend into milkshakes, take it to work and put it into bowls of cereal or toast spread with peanut butter.

9. Avocados

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Avocados are well known for containing healthy fats and vitamins, therefore are good for the health of their brains.

- Why It Works: They contain monounsaturated fats that are good for the brain and require moderate cooking temperatures. This is besides the fact that avocados have potassium, magnesium, and folic acid, which assist in reducing stress and anxiety.

- Incorporation Tips: It is especially useful for adding avocado as a topping to salads, sandwiches, and even toast. It can also be mashed and used in making of guacamole or mixed with other ingredients and powdered in making of smoothies.

10. Turkey

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Turkey is another lean source of protein with a rich content of tryptophan which is reputed to cause a soothing feeling on the brain.

- Why It Works: Tryptophan is useful in the production of serotonin that boosts moods and fights anxiety in individuals. Turkey is also a great source of vitamins B6 and B12, which are great for maintaining the health of the brain.

- Incorporation Tips: Eat turkey by adding it to your meals, as a turkey sandwich, a salad, or when preparing a hamburger, use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

11. Green Tea

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Green tea is a healthy drink that can help one manage various ailments due to its impact on the general well-being of an individual including the mental health.

- Why It Works: Green tea has an amino acid called L-theanine which has the ability to act as a relaxant and reduce stress. It also contains a reasonable percentage of caffeine that enhances alertness but not causing anxiety.

- Incorporation Tips: Sip on some green tea during breakfast or during any part of the day. You can also use matcha, a powdered green tea, in lattes, or toss it into fruit smoothies.

12. Eggs

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Chicken eggs are probably one of the most universally consumed and healthy foods, rich in proteins and vitamins and deficiency of any pathogenic bacteria.

- Why It Works: Choline, a nutrient found in eggs, enhances the function and accomplishments of the human brain. They also aid in supplying B vitamins that are essential for the regulation of mood.

- Incorporation Tips: Consume eggs by preparing omelets, scrambled eggs or, boiled eggs as a quick snack in the course of the day. However, eggs can also be incorporated into salads for garnishing or incorporated into bakers’ recipes in one way or the other.

13. Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are a very tasty root crop, which contains almost all vitamins and minerals necessary for the human body.

- Why It Works: Beta-carotene is very beneficial for the body especially the brain and sweet potatoes are a rich source of it. They also offer fiber, which will assist in careful control of blood sugar levels and energy.

- Incorporation Tips: Bake sweet potatoes whole as an accompaniment, puree or include them in casseroles, soups, and stews. You can also prepare sweet potato fry or include the sweet potatoes in your salad preparations.

Conclusion

Consuming these 13 mood-boosting and anxiety-reducing foods can dramatically improve mental health. Although diet alone would not overcome a professional treatment for mental health disorders, it is an effective tool that can help enhance one’s well-being. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and drink water while self-isolating, and do not hesitate to contact a doctor if you feel you have issues with your mental health.

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