Have you ever thought about the connection between your diet and the way you feel? It's common to feel sluggish or down after eating an unhealthy meal, but different foods can influence your emotions more than you might think.
Good nutrition can be a very effective way to boost your mood naturally, and there’s research that backs that up.
Although the relationship between mental health and nutrition is becoming more clear, it's important to remember that your mood can be influenced by many other factors. Stress, genetics, mood disorders, environment, sleep, and nutritional deficiencies can all play a part.
Nevertheless, certain foods are known to help alleviate certain types of mood disorders and promote better brain health.
If you are interested in naturally boosting your mood, consider 6 of the most nutritious ways to get you started:
We love leafy greens for a variety of reasons, all of which are health-related. Spinach, kale, collards, and swiss chards are all great examples of leafy greens that you should consider adding to your diet.
But how exactly do they influence your mood? It's all in the folate, also known as folic acid. A folate deficiency has been consistently linked to depression because it limits the metabolism of dopamine and serotonin - both of which influence your mood.
There's actually evidence that your body uses folic acid to generate more serotonin. We recommend adding leafy greens to your diet to ensure you avoid folate deficiency. Leafy greens are also full of vitamin C, which helps reduce stress (cortisol) levels.
But leafy greens aren't just for boosting your mood. They're also very nutritious! Vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals your body needs and loves can be found in leafy greens. That's why we heavily feature leafy greens in our Organic Pressed Greens. This greens juice is perfect for anyone who struggles to get their daily dose of veggies!
This may not come as too much of a surprise, but a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables has been linked to lower rates of depression.
The exact reason why fruits and veggies are linked to lower rates of depression isn't completely clear, but it is believed that an antioxidant-rich diet helps alleviate inflammation caused by certain mood disorders.
That's why we suggest making berries part of your daily diet. They offer a large range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which are essential to combating stress in your body.
Berries that are particularly high in anthocyanins - any berry with a purple or blue color - are especially recommended. Anthocyanin has been studied, and the results indicate it can lower symptoms of depression by up to 39%.
We love adding bananas to smoothies because they taste great and help thicken up the juice, but they are also another great mood-boosting food. This is because bananas are known for being high in vitamin B6, which helps your body create serotonin and dopamine.
Additionally, bananas are a great source of fiber and natural sugar - a great combination. Fiber helps slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, so your blood sugar levels will remain stable. If your blood sugar levels are too low, irritability and mood swings are common.
If you can find some bananas with some green still showing, you're in even better luck. These bananas are a great source of prebiotics, which helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. Healthier gut microbiomes are associated with lower mood disorder rates.
Nuts and seeds are great sources of fiber, healthy fats, and plant-based proteins. In particular, nuts are a great source of tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps produce serotonin.
In fact, a study that took place over the course of 10 years showed that adding nuts to your diet resulted in a 23% lower risk of depression.
Nuts and seeds are also often rich in zinc and selenium, both of which are important nutrients. Zinc and selenium deficiencies are known to inhibit brain function and can result in a higher risk of depression.
These are just a few of the reasons why we heavily feature sprouted seeds such as broccoli, quinoa, millet, flax, and chia in our Pineapple Chia Cleanse. This unique blend of chia seeds and 14 other superfood fibers acts as a daily cleanse that combats bloating and keeps cravings under control, so you can meet your weight loss goals.
Not to mention, our Pineapple Chia Cleanse features gut-balancing prebiotics, probiotics, and pineapple enzymes. The activated fibers gently remove any waste from unhealthy slipups and also support the healthy elimination of toxins.
Dark chocolate is quite rich in a variety of mood-boosting nutrients, including caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine. When you eat dark chocolate, these feel-good compounds are released and they are linked to improved mood.
Dark chocolate is also full of flavonoids, which are known to increase blood flow to the brain, boost brain health, and reduce inflammation. All three of these things are good for mood regulation.
We recommend dark chocolate because milk chocolate often contains added sugar and fat, which can do more harm than good. You can get a delicious dose of dark chocolate in this delicious Cacao Proteini smoothie by our juicer, Arash Muniz.
Lentils and beans are known for being great sources of fiber and protein, but they are also packed with feel-good nutrients. In particular, beans and lentils are a great source of B vitamins that increase the levels of neurotransmitters that regulate mood - like dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and norepinephrine.
These same B vitamins are also important for nerve signaling, which ensures communication between nerve cells. Lower levels of these B vitamins are linked to depression and other mood disorders.
Great news is, Pineapple Chia Cleanse features sprouted (activated and more digestible) forms of kidney beans and lentils in our formula, so you can easily access some of these superfoods on a regular basis.