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10 foods that improve mood

10 foods that improve mood

June 20, 2024

Psychology and Nutrition are two disciplines that are related, and in recent years has been gaining ground Psychology of food. There is a growing awareness of how our emotions affect how we eat and how we eat affects our emotional state. Of course, also to our general health.

In this article we will make a review of the most important aspects of the Psychology of food and we will delve into the different foods that have an impact on our emotional state.

Food and emotions

The relationship between food and emotions is a phenomenon that has aroused the interest of researchers, who understand that eating influences our mood, but also affect our emotions in food. For example, when we are stressed we tend to eat worse, something that also happens when we are bored.

In fact, the Night Dining Syndrome is well known "eating disorder that is closely related to anxiety and depression, and you can learn more in our article:" Night Dining Syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment of this eating disorder "

Studies also suggest that emotions are key when it comes to losing weight , because when we enjoy an emotional balance, it is easier for us to adhere to a diet and achieve our goals. According to an investigation by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, which involved 1,300 psychologists who answered questions about their work with clients who had problems losing weight, concluded that emotions can hamper the weight loss plan.

  • If you want to know more about this topic, you can read our article: "Emotions are the main obstacle to losing weight"

What effect does emotional nutrition have on our body

What we eat influences our general health, because the nutrients in food allow us to have an optimal level of energy and allow us to supply the body with the substances it requires for its proper functioning.

Food also influences our mood, since some contain amino acids and other chemical substances, such as tryptophan, which is a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with happiness, which at low levels is related to depression and obsession.

Emotional food: what are they?

However, What foods influence our mood? A study by the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College attempted to provide scientific evidence on foods that have a greater influence on mood. The results conclude that they are the following.

1. Strawberries

Strawberries are a delicious fruit that are ideal when accompanied with cream. In addition to being an aphrodisiac food, it also seems to be ideal for improving the emotional state. And because? For vitamin C, which has proved to be an excellent protector of endorphins , hormones related to pleasure, euphoria and sexuality. Also, the potassium they contain, seems to be key to regulating the nervous system.

2. Cherries

Another delicious fruit that also influences the mood of the people are the cherries. On a physical level, they are good for reducing uric acid levels and They are used in the preventive treatment against gout and contain anti-inflammatory properties . They are antioxidants so they fight free radicals. On a psychological level, they have a great influence on bad mood, anxiety and stress levels.

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a cereal rich in proteins that contains many antioxidants and vitamins and, thanks to this, has many benefits for both physical and emotional health. Regarding the latter, brings vitality, that is, that combats tiredness and low levels of energy . In this sense, it also improves the mood.

  • It is also an excellent food to lose weight, as you can see in our article: "24 fat-burning (and highly healthy) foods"

4. Milk and its derivatives

Dairy products are a great source of vitamin A and B, and minerals, including calcium and phosphorus . They are also rich in high quality proteins, and their amino acids help improve memory and mood. Some studies claim that milk is relaxing because it contains tryptophan, which, as I have already mentioned, increases serotonin levels, which is related to positive mood.

5. Eggs

In addition to milk, eggs are also rich in vitamins, minerals and high quality proteins, so it has the same benefits as milk and its derivatives.

  • If you want to know more about its properties, in our article "20 foods very rich in protein"

6. Chocolate

Few foods are more delicious than chocolate. Of course, only their versions with high cocoa content are healthy. Chocolate releases dopamine and therefore other neurochemicals related to pleasure such as endorphins , serotonin and phenylethylamine. Therefore, it is good to improve the mood and according to some studies helps to relax. Now, its consumption should be moderate.

7. Spinach

Since we were small we have always been told to consume spinach, especially for its iron and vitamin C content. But spinach also are rich in folic acid, which appears to increase serotonin levels and, thanks to this, it improves mood.

8. Fish

Fish, mainly those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, should also be included in this list, as it seems that can be the key to alleviating depression and anxiety in a completely natural way . Some fish rich in these healthy fats are: mackerel, sardine or salmon.

9. Pineapple

Pineapple is a very versatile exotic fruit, which can be added to salads and pizzas . It seems to favor the production of serotonin, which helps improve mood, reassure and provide more vitality. It also seems to help you fall asleep.

10. Nuts

Research suggests that walnuts may have properties that influence mood , then without foods rich in vitamin B, proteins and selenium. Selenium is a mineral that could positively influence mood, and studies suggest that diets rich in this mineral help to have a clearer mind, greater self confidence, less anxiety and less confusion.

Dietary Guidelines : What Foods Give You Energy & Boost Your Mood? (June 2024).

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