Are the changing seasons getting you down? Do you feel unhappy at work or in general?
We all need a pick-me-up sometimes. But when an evening glass of wine or a tough workout isn't helping, look to your diet in order to feel better.
The food you eat has an incredible impact on how you feel and can keep mood swings or depression at bay. Here's what to try and what to avoid to re-energize your life.
Grab some vitamin B.
B vitamins like B6, B12, and folic acid are involved in the production of the brain chemicals which regulate mood. Eat foods rich in these vitamins--like eggs, poultry, and low-fat yogurt. Leafy greens are also recommended, because they contain the B vitamin folate, and research shows that low folate levels have been consistently linked to depression.
And grab some vitamin D too.
Vitamin D is important for the production of mood-boosting chemicals in your brain. Fortified dairy products like no-fat or low-feet cheese, milk, and yogurt are great sources of vitamin D. Sunlight also can give you the vitamin D you need in as little as 20 minutes a day of sun time.
Also fatty acids.
Typically known as heart-health boosters, foods like walnuts, flaxseed, avocado, and cold-water fish (e.g. salmon), are excellent for boosting moods because they are full of essential omega-3s. In fact, in a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, it was found that people who consumed the most fish were less likely to have depression symptoms.
Pay attention to probiotics.
We know probiotics are great for boosting digestive health, but did you know that your gut health can severely affect your mood? According to a study published in Gastroenterology in 2017, consumption of a probiotic supplement was revealed to improve gut symptoms as well as depression in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
And, limit these: caffeine and alcohol.
Both have the capacity to make you feel better, sure, but the reality is alcohol and caffeine can prevent healthy sleep patterns by interrupting important sleep cycles.
If you want to make a big difference in how you feel, make a few small dietary changes and make sure you regularly eat nutritious meals. Your body and your mood will thank you.