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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Foods that will help boost your mood

Many studies have found an association between food and brain health; read more

mood boosting foods, dark chocolateDark chocolate is a good mood booster. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Food plays an important role in determining your overall health — both physical and mental. This is because what you consume determines how you feel, say experts.

“You must have often heard (or experienced) that chocolate boosts your mood. Similarly, carbohydrates are also known to make one feel better. Foods have specific ingredients that can make you feel upbeat,” says Delnaaz Chanduwadia, chief dietitian at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.

She says many studies have proven the association between food and brain health. The expert shares some foods that help one feel good.

Cocoa or dark chocolate: High in tryptophan that is used by our brains to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is a key hormone that helps to stabilise our moods.

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Green tea: Loaded with antioxidants like catechin (EGCG) which helps to boost brain function. It also boosts alertness. It helps to keep calm and improve memory.

Omega-3 rich foods: Has multiple benefits. Its an essential fatty acid in which helps to control heart disease, contributes to weight loss, acts as an antioxidant, facilitates lubrication of joints, etc. “It helps to combat depression. We can find omega-3 in foods like salmon fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts, etc,” she says.

Bell pepper: Loaded with vitamin A, is a source of vitamin B6, an essential nutrient for normal brain development and function, and helps the body make the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine (influencing mood). Pack in colorful bell peppers in your salads or enjoy them stir fried.

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Leafy green veggies: Spinach, methi contain the B vitamin folate; deficiency of folate can hinder the metabolism of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline (neurotransmitters important for mood).

Fermented foods: Help to boost probiotic bacteria and maintain gut health. Foods like kimchi, buttermilk, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, pickled vegetables, kefir, yogurt are rich sources of probiotics. These keep our mood upbeat.

Nuts: Packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats. Nuts also rich in magnesium. Low levels of magnesium can lead to an increased risk of depression.

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Caffeine: Helps improve performance and our mood by triggering the release dopamine. “The effect is individualistic. So if coffee makes you irritable, sad, sleepless, or brings on other adverse effects, avoid consumption. Caffeine-free beverages or lower-caffeine beverages like black tea or green tea are a good option,” she says.

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First published on: 17-10-2021 at 07:11:58 pm
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