As more studies emerge confirming the link between diet quality and mental health, further awareness around conscious eating is arising.
What you choose to eat or drink can encourage bad moods and depression. Similarly, there are foods that encourage happiness. It’s also known that your mood can affect your overall wellness and health.
It’s therefore integral that we all start paying more attention to our gut and what we’re feeding it with. Because most of our immune system is located in our gut, imbalances such as too much bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria from a poor diet, can set off autoimmune reactions leading to health problems. These problems include hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, mental illness such as depression and anxiety, diabetes, chronic fatigue, skin problems, and other chronic illnesses.
It’s also been proven that if you have an unhealthy diet, you’re more at risk of depression. There are also links between sugar intake and food addiction. Sugar triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain as addictive drugs, which is why it can be very hard to kick our sugary habits.
There is also an evident link between stress and our sugar levels, which can be damaging to our health if sugar levels remain high. Our bodies crave a sugar boost when we’re under stress, as a way of fueling a surge of energy. This is why we tend to reach for sugary sweets when we’re under pressure.
It’s also now evident (and rapidly being proven in new studies) that fixing a lot of our mental health issues and health problems simply comes down to our diet and what we’re feeding our bodies and brains with.
The key to a happier lifestyle is nutrition, and being mindful of what we eat. Staying away from processed foods, caffeine, and foods high in sugar is a good start.
The trick to a happier you is simple - be mindful about what you eat.
Try to eat whole foods and organically when possible. Consume lots of complex carbs such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. High protein foods, as well as foods high in omega-3’s such as fish, red meat, poultry, dairy, and legumes also help to boost your energy levels, immunity levels, and overall health.
The amino acids found in protein are an essential part of your diet, and they are integral to our mental health. For example, the essential amino acid tryptophan, is also known for inducing a relaxing effect on the body, and promotes healthy sleep patterns, as well as supporting brain function and nervous system function.
An easy way to increase protein in your daily diet is by consuming one serving of a high-quality protein powder, such as Bare Blends WPI, for optimal energy, wellness, recovery and performance.
Foods that contain selenium, iron, thiamine, folic acid and B-12 are also great to incorporate into your diet as they can influence good moods.
Next time you’re in need of a more positive outlook, or you just want to kick your energy levels up a notch, trying one of these three organic superfoods will do a lot more for your mood and overall happiness than almost any other food.
Our Top 3 Mood-Boosting Superfoods
Raw organic cacao is a proven mood-enhancing and energy-boosting superfood. Not just because of the obvious (it’s delicious flavour) but because of a few amino acids and natural chemicals.
One of these of PEA. PEA is an abbreviation for phenylethylamine, a bliss chemical within the brain that is responsible for causing the same feelings as flood our brains when falling in love. Anandamide and tryptophan are other neurotransmitters that release feel-good endorphins, and yep, they’re found in cacao.
We must also mention Theobromine, a compound that helps wake up the senses and increase energy levels and focus. Theobromine will help to boost your energy levels, as well as inducing a relaxing effect on your muscles.
Want a cacao recipe to try yourself? How about this Raw Cacao Peanut Butter Slice?
Matcha green tea has been proven to enhance cognitive protection and reduce stress. Regular consumption of Matcha improves the brain’s ability to transmit information along its neural pathways. It therefore helps to improve spatial learning and your ability to think creatively.
Epigallocatechin-3 gallate, known as EGCG, is responsible for this key property of green tea and is also a potent antioxidant with strong action against degenerative diseases.
Matcha also contains L-Theanine, which is an amino acid which helps boost our energy, and feel relaxed at the same time. Unlike coffee, there are no caffeine crashes or risk of overstimulation from matcha, all thanks to L-Theanine.
L-Theanine also increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.
These Matcha, Lime and Coconut Popsicles are the perfect matcha treat or healthy dessert option.
Maca is a Peruvian root that is a proven stimulant. Maca produces a natural high, while also being an adaptogen thought to have numerous libido enhancing properties, along with a full spectrum of phytochemicals.
The fatty acids in maca help to support brain function, which may be responsible for enhancing analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking. These fatty acids can also help to alleviate symptoms associated with stress, anxiety and depression.
Maca can also enhance strength and stamina, as well as providing great energy and endurance. It is said to work with the rhythms and needs of your own body.
Raw Maca Caramel Slice? Yes please!
These foods may not fix serious mental health issues, but they will definitely help to improve your mood and contribute to your overall happiness.
The trick to a happier you is simple - be mindful about what you eat. Don’t reach for a coffee or a sweet treat when you need an energy boost or a pick-me-up. Trying one of these three foods instead will work wonders. They don’t call them ‘super’ foods for no reason.
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