UP Health Blog

Food for your Mood

Food for your mood: Eat your way to happy

Nov 8, 2018 7:00:00 AM / by Tamara Castellano

Do not let the title of this article fool you.  I do not mean eating your way through the menu at McDonald’s or polishing off an entire pumpkin pie at an upcoming holiday dinner (but if wishing made it so). I’m talking about foods that help boost your mood.

Amino Acids

One of the single best things you can include in your diet are foods high in amino acids.  Amino’s are the building blocks for dopamine, and dopamine helps to regulate your mood, among many other things. Some examples of foods high in amino acids include poultry, lean red meat, eggs and—my personal favorite—dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

I could literally write an entire article about the health benefits of dark chocolate, but it happens to be one of the best sources of tryptophan, which is an amino acid most people commonly associate with Thanksgiving turkey.  Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa so make sure you pick something that is 72% or higher. Oh and remember, moderation.

Magnesium

Magnesium is linked to 700 bodily functions.  One of the things this useful nutrient can do is help to relieve the symptoms of depression.  I’m sure we’ve all heard the poem that starts out with “beans, beans, they’re good for your heart.” Beans are also a great source of magnesium, as is dark chocolate (you’re welcome), bananas, leafy greens, almonds and cashews.

Vitamin D

Your body needs vitamin D to make serotonin.  Believe it or not, the most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposure to sunlight.  Even though winter is right around the corner, you can still take advantage of the sunshine to boost your own production of vitamin D.  But on the inevitable dreary, cold days, try a supplement or have a side of sautéed mushrooms—also salmon, shrimp and canned tuna.

 

Topics: Member Resources, Nutrition, Food and mood, Amino Acids

Tamara Castellano

Written by Tamara Castellano

Tamara is the marketing communications guru for UP Health.

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