Most people tend to grab chocolates, Mnm’s and all the other salted, processed, baked and packaged goodies when they’re feeling down, blue, sad or depressed. However, these goodies never boost our mood, instead, they just boost up the calorie counts and damage our health.
If you really want to drive away those awful blues and elevate your mood with a powerful surge of energy, make a healthy food choice and brim yourself with essential energizing nutrients, such protein or magnesium.
Clinical depression is a rapidly rising ailment, and nutrition alone cannot cure it entirely, however, if you pick out garden fresh ingredients and nutrient-dense food items, you can really eliminate the symptoms, stress and fatigue with a newfound energy.
The human brain is programmed to desire things that it believes will make you feel happier, better and calmer, but most often, these ‘things’, be it a carton of ice cream or a large bag of chips, always make you feel guilty and filled up in the long run. You see, the wrong and unhealthy kinds of foods will not only burden your body, but they also burden your mind by influencing negative psychological symptoms, such as sluggishness, irritability, mental exhaustion and intense cravings.
On the other hand, healthy and nutrient dense food items with help you regulate and maintain your blood sugar levels, enhance the activities of your neurotransmitters, influence your emotions through the brain and put an end to all those horrid mood swings.
Here are 5 incredibly healthy food choices that you must add up to your daily diet immediately:
1. Green Tea
A hot and piping cup of green tea is brimming with L-theanine, an essential amino acid that holds countless health benefits and medicinal powers. Basically, L-theanine is a type of amino acid found mostly in tea leaves, and according to research, it is capable of influencing and enhancing the alpha brain waves. It also tends to calm the mind and body, improve concentration, and aid the mind in combatting stress or anxiety.
Even though green does have a certain quantity of caffeine, its L-theanine density always dominates all other effects with a potent relaxing effect that is scientifically proven to last around eight hours after consuming it. L-theanine gets quickly absorbed within the bloodstream, and its effect is so potent mainly because it is capable of permeating the blood-brain barrier.
You can enjoy various varieties of green tea flavours, such as mint, jasmine, lemon or berries, and you can drink it hot or iced cold, based on your personal preference.
2. Ancient Grains
Ancient grains, such as barley, teff, quinoa, spelt, millet and amaranth, are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, which take their time to get digested and provide our body long-lasting sources of energy.
Since they digest gradually and slowly, they are extremely less likely to trigger blood sugar spikes or violent mood swings. Moreover, according to research, complex carbs also work wonders at increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel relaxed, happy and calm.
Most whole grains are beneficial for our health, but ancient grains are purest and best organic form of grains as they are the most least likely to be processed or modified with chemicals. You must replace all your packaged, refined and processed meals with ancient grains, for these meals are made with nothing with sugar and wheat. They may be easier and quicker to digest, but they cause horrid blood sugar spikes and cholesterol imbalances.
You see, when a blood sugar spike occurs, the body reacts to this occurrence by secreting an excessive amount of insulin, which causes an abnormal amount of sugar to get stored in our cells. This leads to a blood sugar level imbalance, and you can spot it with symptoms such as weariness, exhaustion, lack of concentration, uncontrollable cravings, binge eating and mood swings.
You can pick up a bag of ancient grains from all your local grocery stores, organic stores and super markets. Just step into the shelves that store the rice products. If you’re allergic to wheat or are intolerant to gluten, ancient grains are a much healthier alternative, however, steer clear of barley as it contains gluten.
You can create delicious meals by adding ancient grains to your casseroles, poultry recipes, grilled fish bases, side lines, appetizers, rice dishes or pastas perhaps.
3. Egg Yolk Omelettes
Give yourself a powerfully energetic breakfast with an egg yolk omelette. Research reveals that the yolk is the healthiest part of the egg, as it contains a rich nutrient density of vitamin Bs and protein.
The best trick to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of depression is to create a diet plan that is brimming with vitamin Bs. Vitamin Bs, particularly B-6 and B-12, have proven highly effective at enhancing the functioning of the neurotransmitters, the brain’s ability to send signals and its ultimate influence on our mood.
Several studies have established a concrete link between a vitamin B deficiency and the symptoms of depression. You can obtain vitamin B from countless food based sources, such as poultry, wheat germs, lean beef and fish.
A recent study examined the diets of over 3000 adults for a period of 12 years. The results revealed that the individuals who had a low consumption of vitamin B put themselves at a greater risk for developing depression.
Eggs and lean meats are brimming with protein, a slow combusting nutrient that not only provides the body long-lasting supplies of energy but also aids in regulating normal levels of blood sugar. You can consume eggs in over a hundred delicious recipes.
For instance, you can eat scrambled eggs, cheesy omelettes, French toasts, boiled and chopped egg salads, egg sandwiches and so much more. Be sure to add in some poultry or meat chunks for enhance flavour, however, stay away from food items that contain heaps of saturated fats, like butter or bacon.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Seeds and nuts, such almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pecans, cashews and sesame seeds, are brimming with dense profiles of energizing magnesium.
You can also obtain magnesium from other food-based sources, such as leafy green veggies, and whole grains.
Research reveals that magnesium obtained through nuts and seeds promotes the increase of serotonin, a principal neurotransmitter that makes us feel relaxed, happy and calm. This powerhouse nutrient also enhances the body’s ability to produce and retain energy.
Nuts are also brimming with healthy fats and protein, and you must replace all your cravings for processed and packaged food by keeping a healthy snack of mixed nuts with you at all times.
However, be sure to buy them raw, and steer clear of all unsalted, sweetened and flavour nut varieties. The sugary and salty coatings do improve the taste, but they do more harm than good to your health. They trigger overeating, and train your brain to crave more sugar and salts.
5. Cold-water fish
Cold-water fish, such as tuna, mackerel, wild salmon, sardines, rainbow trout, herring and anchovies, are packed with astounding density of omega-3 fatty acids, which are immensely healthy for the mind and body.
You must add at least three meals of cold-water fish to your weekly diet, and if you absolutely can’t stand the sight of fish, pick out a fish-oil supplement because you certainly need its nutrient density.
Fish is an excellent source of lean protein, which helps regulate and control our mood, and also aids the body in regulating and maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Fatty fish, such as wild salmon and tuna, is widely termed as brain food because it contains an extraordinary quantity of DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that has been scientifically proven to enhance the quality of the membrane, and the nerve functioning of the gray matter present within the brain.
Research reveals that nearly 20% of the gray matter found within the brain is developed with DHA, and when we consume DHA through our foods, it enhances the gray matter within three brain areas that regulate our mood: the hippocampus, the amygdala and the cingulate.
Patients suffering with depression are strongly advised to eat generous portions of fatty fish as they lack a sufficient amount of gray matter in the above mentioned brain areas.