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Four Foods to Improve Your Mood


 

 

asparagusIn regards to active lifestyle nutrition, it’s important to eat not only for taste but more importantly for performance. As we condition and train to improve our bodies we should also be concerned about our overall mood and well-being. For many, working out is a “eustress” or positive response to stress and according to endocrinologist Hans Selye, “gives one a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings.”

In today’s hectic and fast-pace society it’s easy to become overwhelmed by life events. While working out may have originated for some as a goal or path toward weight management; an added benefit comes from one’s ability to use exercise as a stress management tool. Some studies have shown exercise to reduce the amount of cortisol, a hormone that causes stress while increasing the amount of endorphins, your body’s natural mood-lifting hormone.
Furthermore, we’re familiar with the concept that food is fuel to our bodies, so why not give the body fuel that will improve our workouts and our mood, a true “win-win .“

 

Here are Four Foods that Improve your Mood:

1. Salmon- Mood-Improving Nutrient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is a great choice of fish that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as Omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, vitamin D, and B vitamins. The abundance of Omega -3 fatty acids in salmon seem to have positive effects on clinically defined mood swings and help to restore one to their calm, peaceful state of mind.

Additionally, salmon also contains vitamin D which is a rare natural occurrence. Vitamin D has been credited with lowering the probability of four mood disorders: PMS, seasonal affective disorder, nonspecified mood disorder, and major depressive disorder. Salmon is one of many sources that provide Vitamin D would be a power-house even without the Vitamin D benefits.

 

2. Asparagus- Mood-Improving Nutrient: Folic Acid
Asparagus is hailed as a “mood-protector” because of its dense amount of folic acid. Although folic acid is recommended for women during the child-bearing years, new research shows that antidepressant medications are not as effective if your folic acid levels are below normal. Additional nutrients in asparagus include vitamin A, fiber, iron, and protein.

 

3. Dark Chocolate- Mood-Improving Nutrients: Vitamins/Minerals/Antioxidants
For the choco-holics out there, here’s some good news! Regular consumers of chocolate report feeling less stressed. You can now treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate guilt-free. According to a study at John Hopkins University “SMALL amounts of dark chocolate can be a physical upper.” Dark chocolate is shown to increase the levels of endorphins found in the brain. Additional benefits of dark chocolate include: improved circulation, anti-oxidant protection from the sun, and feeling fuller longer because of its fiber rich content.

 

4. Banana- Mood-Improving Nutrient: Nutrient: Tryptophan
Bananas are most popularly known for their enormous amounts of potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte which helps support athletic performance and boost mental alertness.

Rightfully so, they must also be credited for their exceeding large amount of tryptophan. Tryptophan is one of the 20 standard amino acids and an essential amino acid in the human diet. Bananas contain tryptophan acids which are known to reduce depression and decrease levels of stress.

This magical fruit is also credited with reducing blood pressure and maintaining low blood sugar levels which curbs the tendency to overeat.
In conclusion, remember to include these four amazing foods in your diet to improve your mood and keep a smile on your face when the going gets tough.

 

1. Salmon- Mood-Improving Nutrient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
2. Asparagus- Mood-Improving Nutrient: Folic Acid
3. Dark Chocolate- Mood-Improving Nutrients: Vitamins/Minerals/Antioxidants
4. Banana- Mood-Improving Nutrient: Nutrient: Tryptophan

 

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