I'm so grateful for how food naturally affects my mood. I love that what I eat can assist with my energy, brain power, mental health, and how food comforts me on the craziest of days. Life is always going to come at you side ways, so surrounding yourself with elements that keep you lifted is key. I know we are all experiencing daily challenges and ongoing heart breaks so I wanted to share a few food items that goes deeper than sustaining your body, but also helps with the developing and nourishing your mind, adjusting your attitude, perspectives, and instant mood enhancers. Outside of food enhancing your mood, it is key in providing nutrients that keeps us from being hangry and down. Food has a direct affect on our mental health. Being intentional about what we eat, can greatly improve our mood, movement, and keep our minds healthy. We need our minds to be healthy to get through these tough and traumatic experiences. I hope this blog helps. Love to all!
There are minerals like selenium, carbohydrates, serotonin, whole grains, lycopene flavanols, Omega 3-fatty acid, vitamin D, folate and others like folic acid that our body and brains counts on to keep us stabilized and in good spirits. Selenium is a mineral that is found is soil, water, and some foods and is important for making the body process correctly. A low selenium intake can lead to poor mood. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that sends happy messages to your brain. When you have a good amount of serotonin circulating through your blood streams, you will feel the good vibes flowing through you. A low serotonin intake can lead to poor mood and more aggressive behaviors. Carbohydrates, may seem evil lol, but some of them are great for enhancing your mood, especially if they are rich in fiber and nutrients, like fruits. Folate, B Vitamin is known to decrease depression. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is also known for increasing levels of serotonin, along with folic acid, folate, and carbohydrates. Whole grains are an important source of B Vitamins, vital for brain health. Flavanols are a group of bioactive compounds found in certain plant-based foods including tea, cocoa, grapes, and blueberries. Foods high in flavanols have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and boost brain health all of which may support mood regulation. Omega-3s not only found in fish, can easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression. Lycopene is an antioxidant that reduces stress and repairs damaged brain cells. Antioxidants are known to help decrease anxiety.
Many time when we are feeling down, the first thought is something sweet and/or comforting. Sugar may seem to give you energy and comfort you, but a high sugar intake has its consequences and should be limited in your diet, if at all. Here are some healthier food options to try to enhance your mood:
Oatmeal - Selenium, Antioxidants
Orange Juice - Vitamin D, Antioxidants
Leafy Greens - Folate, B Vitamin
Avocado - Folate, B Vitamin
Lentils - Folate, Carbohydrates
Spinach - Folate, Antioxidants, B Vitamin, Selenium
Turnip Greens - Folate
Steel cut oatmeal - B Vitamin
Quinoa - B Vitamin
Wild Rice - B Vitamin
Cocoa Powder/Cacao - Flavanols
Grapes - Flavanols
Blueberries - Flavanol, Folate, Antioxidants
Walnuts + Almonds - Omega-3s
Banana - Carbohydrates, B Vitamin
Berries - Antioxidants
Brussels Sprouts - Folate
Try indulging in some of these delectable edibles when the blues got your mood in a feud :).
Here are some of my favorite things to make out of some of the items listed above. Try adding your favorite items to one dish/meal and see what you create! Whatever you choose, you will be sure to fill a shift in your vibrations. Ase!
Strawberry Spinach salad or Wild Berry Harvest salad with raspberry vinaigrette.
Strawberry Spinach salad - strawberries and spinach, can add purple onion if you like
Wild Berry Harvest - mixed berries, mixed greens or spinach, granola, purple onion, walnuts.
Oatmeal with blueberries or banana.
Mixed Berry Smoothie made with spinach, nut milk, and almond butter.
Smoothie Bowl - frozen mixed berries, banana, nut milk, spinach, topped with granola, walnuts or almonds, and more banana lol.
Please note, if you are experiencing severe depression. Seeking support outside of food is highly recommended. Here are a few resources for additional support:
Jessica K. created Hyde Park Center for Healing to offer private mental health resources including individual and group counseling services for ages 14+.
Dr. Toya is a spiritual teacher, ancestor medium, and certified life coach offering help to people of color in the realm of bringing peace to their lives by breaking toxic cycles.
Additional Resources that you may be interested in.
Here are a few companies I love that makes great tea!
Good Thoughts Tea - https://instagram.com/goodthoughtsteaco?igshid=16iloxo5s977o
What's the Tea - https://instagram.com/maciegot_thetea?igshid=15n23vb8zwxhr
Purchase Fresh Produce - https://www.instagram.com/synergyfoods/
Purchase Sea Moss + Lifestyle Tips - https://www.instagram.com/starlottamilan/
Sea Moss: https://www.instagram.com/bgabsvegankitchen/
Food Inspo - https://www.instagram.com/dreamyventscatering/
Food + Mental Health - https://www.instagram.com/chefchanell/