This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full affiliate link disclosure here.
How Food and Lifestyle Affect Your Mood
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. –Virginia Woolf
The foods you eat have a huge impact on your mood. One of the many benefits of a clean, healthy diet is abundant energy and consistently good moods. Imagine what your life could be like if you and your kids had way less mood swings…
If you and/or your kids have been struggling lately, try some of the foods listed below and see what effect they have on you. How empowering is it to realize you can have a life-changing impact on your family just by simple foods choices?
Aside from food, you also need to look at your lifestyle. Do you drink too much caffeine and alcohol? That’s a little bit of trick question, isn’t it? How much is too much? That’s a topic for a whole other post, but you should have a pretty good idea of what moderation is for you.
Do you get enough exercise? More importantly, do you enjoy exercise? If you hate it and you push yourself too hard, there’s little chance you’ll find yourself in a better mood. Find some type of exercise or way to move your body that you ENJOY.
What is your stress like? It’s impractical, if not impossible, to eliminate all stress from your life. The trick is in how you manage your stress. Do you let it slowly eat away at you? Or do you address it and find appropriate ways to manage it?
For more tips on stress reduction, read this article I wrote for Columbus Moms Blog, Simple Ways to Reduce Stress and Save Your Sanity
Nine Mood Boosting Foods to Start Incorporating Into Your Diet
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are superfoods with tons of nutritional benefits. They are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. One important mineral they supply is iron. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and mood disorders. Green vegetables are high in chlorophyll, which is chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein that is essential in red blood cells as it carries oxygen around a person’s body.
Don’t underestimate these tiny little seeds. They pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They boost your mood and provide tons of health and wellness benefits. Find buying information and testimonials here.
The easiest way to get more chia seeds in your diet is to add them to smoothies, yogurt, and cereal. You can also grind them up and add them baked goods. They work especially well in brownie recipes.
If you’re interested in learning more about these tiny powerhouses and how to easily incorporate them into your diet, you will love the book Chia, The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood
Lentils are rich in folate. Folate deficiencies are associated with higher rates of depression. Lentils are also a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Protein and fiber help to stabilize blood sugar levels and contribute to better moods. They are a good source of vitamin B6 which helps to make the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
You can buy lentils dried or canned. One simple, convenient way to eat them is in Lentil Soup. Of course, homemade is best, but if you’re in a pinch, this brand is clean, healthy and tasty.
You can add lentils to salads, soups, pasta dishes and dips.
Avocados can have a huge impact on your mood and overall health. They are rich in healthy fats that support your brain and mood. They are also full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. They support digestive health which also plays an important role in your mood and emotional health.
There has been a ton of recent research linking your brain and your gut. Did you know over 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut? For better moods and emotional health, you need to address your gut health.
The belly rules the mind. –Spanish Proverb
One simple way to do this is by adding in more fermented foods. Fermented foods are rich in enzymes, probiotics, vitamins and minerals that support gut health.
Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, cucumbers, and sourdough.
Let’s get real here. Eating a Snickers or Reeces Peanut Butter Cup is not going to boost your mood. In fact, it will do just the opposite. You will get a quick boost and sugar spike, but what comes up, must come down. A down you will come with a thud!
Forget the processed, sugary chocolates and opt for less processed, dark chocolate. Even better, looks for ways to incorporate cacao powder and cacao nibs into your diet. They are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals that support overall health and better moods. Cacao contains compounds such as phenylethylamine (for endorphins) and anandamide, which researchers call the “bliss” chemical.
Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth after meals. Try incorporating cacao powder into smoothies or coffee. Add cacao nibs to smoothie bowls, yogurt or cereal for a nutritional and mood elevating boost.
Related article>>> 9 Ways to Turn America’s Favorite Beverage Into a Superfood
If you are allergic to nuts, sunflower seeds are a great substitute. If you miss the creamy texture of peanut butter, try sunbutter.
Sunflower seeds are rich in the B complex vitamins, which are essential for a healthy nervous system, and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin E. They also contain trace minerals, zinc, manganese, copper, chromium and carotene as well as healthy fats.
Try adding sunflower seeds to your salads and cereals. Or just grab a handful and munch on them.
Almonds are a great source of protein, antioxidants, vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium. The nutritional components of almonds support brain health and elevate moods.
Almonds help improve your mood and your overall health, and they are really easy to add to your diet. Steer clear from roasted, salted and sugared almonds. Whenever possible, eat almonds raw. If your craving roasted almonds, buy them raw and roast them yourself at home. It’s easy and it preserves more of their nutrients. Other ways to get more almonds in your diet is to use almond butter instead of peanut butter and almond flour in place of other flours. Almond flour provides way more nutrients than processed grain flours.
What is not to love about bell peppers? They are colorful, crunchy and bursting with flavor. They’re a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They’re especially high in vitamin C which supports your nervous system and improves your cognition. It also helps to reduce stress and improve your mood. Vitamin C is also known to help slow the aging process which can only put you in a better mood ?
So you’re convinced and ready to make some simple changes to your diet. Perhaps you could use some more reminders and extra support to continue to make healthier changes. Join my Your Health Matters VIP Club for simple health tips and tricks delivered straight to your inbox.
To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. –Buddha