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Top 8 foods that will instantly boost your mood

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Updated : September 25, 2014 4:18 PM IST

Foods that improve moodBelieve it or not, a great deal of emotional distress and resulting mood swings in your daily life stem from the unmet nutritional requirements and diet imbalances. In fact, a balanced diet forms a part of natural approach to eliminate anxiety and symptoms of mood disorders from its roots. Although nutritional supplements would help you on a short-term basis, if you want to stay away from stress and mood swings, you need to include these foods in your diet.

Chocolates: It's not surprising that people crave sweets when they are sad or feel low. Sweets elevate the levels of brain chemicals called endorphins that have natural mood-lifting ability. Some of you might feel better after eating chocolates than any other sweets. That's because chocolates contain phenylethyleneamine and anadmide that give euphoric feeling and improve mood.

Fruits: Fresh fruits are a part of whole food diet having huge benefits for those with mood disorders. Berries, oranges, pomegranates, apples, bananas, bluberries, grapes, figs, peaches, strawberries, watermelon, etc. are all antioxidant rich foods that not only reduces physical stress but also makes you feel better and energetic. Make sure you have at least one fruit (at least two servings) daily in your diet.

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Nuts: There are three reasons why eating nuts can instantly induce a feeling of happiness. Firstly, they fare ibre-rich. Secondly, they help you stay fit by boosting metabolism by as much as 11 percent. Thirdly, they help regulation of blood sugar because they have a low glycemic index. Unlike other unhealthy snacks, they do not induce hunger and fat storage which makes you feel lethargic. Moreover, they are packed with nutrients like vitamin E, potassium, folic acid and magnesium, which are all associated with mood improvement, better sleep and stress control.

Milk and yogurt: One of the best sources of calcium, milk and yogurt help your body to recover from stressful situations. Milk also contains the amino acid tryptophan that is associated with mood benefits and sleep induction.

Soy: Soy is not only rich in protein but is also packed with antioxidants that improve brain health and correct chemical imbalances in the brain that are related to depression and mood swings. Also, those who eat soy-rich foods have lesser damage to their brain tissue during stressful situations. They have improved memory and thinking power.

Leafy vegetables: You cannot expect to be happy and cheerful if your folate intake is insufficient. Folate insufficiency has been linked to clinical depression, fatigue and memory problems. All these problems can directly affect your mood and cause emotional distress. Even those who take antidepressants fail to respond to the drugs until their folate level is stabilised. The only natural approach to ensure stable folate levels is to include green vegetables in your diet. Spinach, lettuce, broccoli and fenugreek are some of the best sources of folate you can get.

Legumes: Legumes are a good source of proteins, carbohydrates and fibre. Some of them like lentils, chick peas, black beans, kidney beans are packed with folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron which individually affect neurotransmitter levels, especially serotonin, and improve mood.

Fish: Studies have shown that the prevalence of depression is extremely low in countries where people consume a lot of seafood. Sea food is a great source of amino acids, iron, selenium, calcium and vitamins A, B12 and D. It also contains zinc that plays a key role in anxiety disorders and healthy omega fats that maintain healthy brain tissues and nerves required for you to be cheerful and happy.

Image source: Getty images

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Eat Your Way To Happiness: 10 Diet Secrets to Improve Your Mood, Curb Cravings and Keep the Pounds Off Author Elizabeth Somer. Harlequin, 2012.480 pages

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