Dr. Della’s Fresh Health Tips – 12 Foods For Improving Mood
Dr. Della's Fresh Health Tips - October Edition
Eating food may sometimes feel like a chore, but food is important in more ways than you may realize. Food not only energizes us, but also can impact our mood, either in a positive or negative way. There are certain foods which you should emphasize in your diet, and some which should generally be avoided. Please see below for an idea of a few of each!
Foods to BOOST Your Mood
- Asparagus – high in tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter in your brain to help with sleep, mood, and headaches. Asparagus is also high in folate (B9), which helps with mental and emotional health. Turkey and tuna are also high in tryptophan.
Eat a few stalks per day or 4-6oz of meat weekly.
- Blue Potatoes – have a large amount of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that improves memory and decreases inflammation. This is additionally high in berries, eggplants, and black beans.
Eat a handful per day.
- Blueberries – not only do they taste great, they are packed full of antioxidants to help decrease inflammation and keep the heart happy. Also can help to fight cancer cells, boost brain functioning, and aid in weight loss.
Eat about a half a cup per day.
- Brazil Nuts – are high in selenium to help prevent depression, fatigue, irritability, and anxiety. Also very important for proper thyroid functioning. Brazil nuts also have protein, fiber, magnesium, copper, and thiamine. These all helps with wound healing, and heart health.
Eat 1-2 per day.
- Dark Chocolate / Cocoa – boosts memory and concentration, helps to decrease stress, but may lead to stress from the extra pounds. The high magnesium and antioxidants improve cardiovascular conditions.
Eat 1.5 grams or less per day, but beware of sugar and added fats that may swing your mood in the other direction.
- Green Tea – leads to an alert state of mind with theanine that helps you adapt to stress and recover from fatigued states. Also has cancer prevention properties, reduces inflammation, and lowers cholesterol.
Drink 1-2 cups per day
- Honey (unpasteurized and local) – has the components quercitin and kaempferol to moderate inflammation and regulate allergies. It also does not have the same effects on blood sugar that white sugar does. Has anti-microbial properties to fight all types of infections.
Eat a teaspoon or less a day.
- Mussels – high levels of B12, as well as selenium, zinc, and iodine. These nutrients are all important for energy, as well as thyroid functioning. Use caution in your sourcing as many can be contaminated.
Eat a few per week
- Pumpkin Seeds – has the component tryptophan to help increase mood. Magnesium and omega 3s for pain, heart health, and energy; zinc for improving the immune system and skin conditions. It is also thought to help with prostate problems.
Eat one handful per day.
- Salmon, Mackerel, and Sardines – have lots of great protein and essentials fatty acids, to boost brain functioning, moderate inflammation, increase energy production and improving circulation.
Eat 3-6oz 1-2x week.
- Spinach – Has excesses of vitamins A, C, E, K, B3, B6, and B12; as well as Calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Thus helps with many conditions. It is pretty awesome overall!
Eat a cup of lightly cooked spinach daily.
- Steel Cut Oats – slow release of energy because of protein and fibre, which keeps blood sugar and mood stable as a result. Also high in vitamins and has a component to help you feel calm.
Eat half a cup cooked per day. Add a bit of honey, warming spices, nuts, and blueberries for a nice balanced breakfast.
Foods that increase our circulation and help us to feel warm are always appreciated during the cold and rainy days of fall and winter. This includes foods such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, onion, garlic, the traditionally spicy foods, as well as many more! These herbs and foods decrease inflammation, help our bodies heal, aid in digestion, and make us feel good!
Foods That PUT you in a BAD Mood
- Alcohol: it may feel good in the moment, but it can lead you to becoming moody, anxious, and irritable. It also is dehydrating and puts stress on the kidneys and liver.
- Caffeine: can increase energy in the short term, but it steals energy from your stores, and in the long run depletes your energy, hampers your mood, and makes you feel ill. The caffeine in cocoa is counteracted by the other good nutrients that are present, when eaten in small amounts.
- Sugar: picks you up and then crashes you down. Crashes your mood, energy, and increases your weight. Avoiding all processes sugars and moderating the other. This is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health.
An Extra Herbal Tip
Lavender Oil – smelling, putting on your pillow or diffusing in your room; helps boost mood and decrease anxiety. It is also good as an antimicrobial for preventing or stopping any type of external infection. Can be sued to help with cuts/scrapes, healing tissue, itching, and keeping away the bugs a few drops here and there goes a long way.
Written By: Dr. Adella Gerry, ND (Dr. Della)