While it may be easy to blame your mood on your circumstances, that is often not the case. Depending on the nutrients we’re absorbing and those we may be missing, our mood can easily be affected by the foods we put in our bodies – as they say, you are what you eat!
While we previously shared some great snacks for maintaining bone strength, we wanted to take that a step further and share some foods that you can add to (or remove from) your diet that help in boosting your mood.
If you’re feeling a little blue it may be due to serotonin – a key neurotransmitter. Low serotonin levels are often associated with a decrease of sunlight, which can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Those who suffer from SAD should try either a high carb diet or low carb, high protein diet. Check out this article from Prevention on how you can effectively master the SAD diet.
Sometimes feeling blue can trigger a deeper sadness, such as depression. Research shows that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids may help ease depressive symptoms. However, try and stay clear of fatty fish, which are often high in mercury, which is linked to birth defects and developmental issues. Additionally, it can be helpful to eat whole foods and fresh produce – too many processed foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies which can affect brain health.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of foods that can help in reducing stress. Typically, we’re directed to foods high in antioxidants due to their ability to counteract oxidative stress. Besides chocolate (everyone’s go-to stressreliever), food high in antioxidants include grass-fed beef, oatmeal, berries and even garlic. But, if you do choose to go the standard chocolate route, just be sure to skip the milk chocolate and go for a small portion of dark chocolate instead.
Aside from antioxidants, there are other nutrients that can help decrease stress levels. For example, foods high in Vitamin C are beneficial when clearing out cortisol – a primary stress hormone that drives cravings. Additionally, low zinc levels have been linked to depression and, since our bodies cannot store Zinc, it is important to get some daily. So, next time you feel a major stress-induced craving coming on, try something new and reach for berries, cashews or maybe an orange.
Sometimes what we identify as sleepiness is more than that – its fatigue. If this is you, it is important to identify what is causing this extreme tiredness. Starting your day on the right foot is key in fighting fatigue all day long. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eating a combination of carbohydrates (for energy) and protein (for endurance).
If skipping breakfast isn’t the cause of your fatigue, it could be what you’re eating, not when you’re eating. If you are experiencing overall low energy levels, try swapping bad fats for unsaturated fats, which can improve energy levels. Another common issue associated with tiredness is alertness – if this is you, up your intake of complex carbs with oatmeal or a banana. Check out article from Bustle on foods you can easily grab instead of another cup of coffee.
As you adjust your diet, always check the nutritional value to make sure you’re selecting foods that are good for your overall health, as well as your bone health. Regardless of what dietary changes you make, it is important to remember that health is not just dependent on nutrients, but on many factors. OsteoStrong is an all-natural, research-backed solution that works in conjunction with your lifestyle choices to increase bone strength and provide relief from joint and back pain. To learn more, find an OsteoStrong location near you.