Mood Food: Eat yourself happy
When you're feeling depressed, stressed, or just not quite happy, you may be tempted to reach for food to help lift your spirits. But not all food is created equal, and many highly processed and high-calorie treats can have negative effects on our bodies. So you might be wondering if there are other healthy foods that can boost your mood. Some people clearly say yes and refer to so-called mood food. These are foods that are referred to as happiness makers because they are not only healthy for the body, but because they are also said to have a mood-enhancing effect.
Can Food Really Boost Your Mood?
Recently, there has been new research into the link between diet and mental health . However, it is important to note that our mood can be affected by many factors such as stress, environment, sleep, genetics and nutrient deficiencies. It is therefore difficult to determine the specific role that nutrition plays in mental health. However, certain foods have been shown to promote overall brain health and improve certain types of mood disorders.
What is happening in the body?
Hormones and neurotransmitters are responsible for our mood. But how are these messenger substances created in the first place? Nutrients from the food we consume are also responsible, because they provide essential building blocks for the formation of those messenger substances. This explains why the serotonin level can be pushed through food, for example. The following foods are considered mood food and can often be found under the slogan "Eat yourself happy".
Ginger unfolds its mood food potential through the gingerol contained in the yellow root. Gingerol is the substance responsible for the sharpness in the root. This sharpness is initially perceived by the brain as pain. Conversely, to relieve the registered pain, the body releases endorphins. The messenger substance endorphin - like serotonin - is called the happiness hormone.
Berries contain a variety of antioxidants that play a pivotal role in combating oxidative stress. The mood food is also an excellent source of magnesium. Magnesium can inhibit the release of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline and help us get through everyday life more relaxed. You could almost think: berries are good – everything is good.
Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut or kimchi can have a positive effect on intestinal health. Due to the gut-brain axis, these foods also automatically affect our mood. The decisive factor here is the contained probiotics, which according to studies increase the serotonin level.
The well-known grip on chocolate is not entirely unfounded. Because chocolate is rich in many mood-enhancing substances . The contained cocoa provides a lot of tryptophan, which is understood as a precursor for the happiness hormone serotonin. For the highest possible cocoa content, however, it is best to use dark bittersweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate, which contains many other ingredients such as fat and sugar. So there is probably something to the popular soul food chocolate.
Like cocoa, tryptophan is also found in bananas. This in combination with the contained carbohydrates help in the formation of the happiness hormone serotonin and can increase mood and well-being.
More mood enhancers
These are probably the most important mood foods. This was by no means all food, because vanilla, fish, lentils, almonds and avocados are also said to have a certain super power. Even if the topic of nutrition is obviously very important to us and we are absolute foodies, we should not forget that food is just one piece of the puzzle on the way to being happy and healthy. Another piece of the puzzle, for example, is nighttime sleep , which affects mood. The process can also be explained in terms of neurotransmitters. Because after a restful night with enough sleep, the dopamine level is particularly high the next morning. Conversely, after a night of drinking, dopamine levels are correspondingly low and bad moods are predictable.
Who would have thought? Mood lift Fasting can make you happy!
Some people may get grumpy just thinking about fasting. However, contrary to what is assumed, the opposite phenomenon usually occurs: the mood improves. According to studies, the phenomenon is based on the production of ketone bodies. These are made from fat. In order for the body to be able to do this, little energy from carbohydrates must first be available. This can be done simply by following a ketogenic diet or by eating little or nothing – i.e. fasting. The ketone bodies produced can act as a mood enhancer and make us happier through everyday life.
Juice fasting as a mood food
Consciously avoiding solid food during a juice fast can actually have a positive effect on our mood. And once the ball has been set in motion, positive behaviors can be more easily transferred to several areas of life and we benefit from the juice cleanse not only as a mood food, but also as a beneficial experience that can have a holistic effect on our lives.
Happy hormones put you in a good mood
Happiness is a complex interaction of different hormones and neurotransmitters. We have no direct influence on some processes, but we do on many others. When you learn how to take care of yourself, you can naturally influence your mood. And ultimately maybe eat a little happy after all. Because real feel-good food not only tastes good, it also contains the natural nutrients that are needed for distribution.