Did you know that Americans suffer from the highest levels of stress and depression in the world? Our lifestyles cause a majority of this because we are constantly juggling more than we can handle, therefore we have no time, so we get stressed and make poor food choices; which plays a direct role in depression. A never-ending cycle.
The good news is there is a link between food and mood, so if you’re always on the go with a full plate each day, take a moment, breathe and be conscious of what you’re feeding your body. Rather than turning to comfort foods to ease the stress for the short-term, choose healthier options that naturally elevate the “feel good” chemicals in the brain; which make us feel happy and full of energy. Here’s some examples.
Eat salmon and walnuts. The Omega-3 fatty acids contained in these foods have been shown to lower depression rates and regulate mood and emotions because of the area of the brain that is impacted by this very special healthy fat.
Drink SOME coffee. Notice the word “some” here. Coffee has been known to increase dopamine in the brain; which increases energy levels and boosts confidence. Although, drinking too much can actually have a negative affect, so be careful of how much you drink and how often, if sleep is disrupted you will only feel worse.
Consume Vitamin C. This vitamin has a positive affect on your health by decreasing stress and how you respond to it. Eat fruits containing Vitamin C and consider a supplement also.
Dark chocolate should be your go to sugary treat because it lowers the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines. Be sure it contains at least 70% cocoa to truly benefit.
Eat asparagus, arugula, tomatoes and beets often. These folate rich foods are linked with lowered rates of depression and are essential for your body to produce the very important mood regulating neurotransmitters.
Eat plenty of protein from foods like eggs, nuts and healthy meats. These foods are needed for your body to make serotonin, the feel happy and relaxed neurotransmitter your brain and your life benefits from.
Don’t skip CARBS! Low carb diets make people unhappy for a reason. The lack of carbohydrates causes an unhappy brain. Just be sure to eat whole grain healthy carbs, not the white processed kind.