Advertising
Advertising

9 Superfoods To Fight Inflammation And Boost Your Mood

9 Superfoods To Fight Inflammation And Boost Your Mood

Food plays a crucial role in not only how our bodies function physically, but also has an impact on our mental health as well. It may be tempting to reach for a packaged snack or fast food dinner; however, the negative outcomes far outweigh the positive. Putting a little effort into what goes into your body has good long-term effects that will keep your body healthy and happy.

Here are nine foods that keep your body both physically and mentally on point.

6906858161_d13402f52b_b

    1. Yogurt

    Scientific research shows that yogurt can increase the levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for boosting your mood and fighting off bouts of depression. Yogurt is also important for improving gut health, which is important since that is where a majority of the serotonin in your body is found. Improving gut health also allows for less inflammation in your body.

    Advertising

    15732649427_3730653a4d_k

      2. Turkey

      This lean protein is not only a healthier meat option, but it also contains beneficial chemicals like tryptophan and selenium. Tryptophan produces serotonin, while selenium helps reduce inflammation in your body and minimizes depression.

      4439316947_67f075259c_o

        3. Asparagus

        This summertime veggie is a particularly rich source of folic acid and therefore a natural mood booster. This green superfood has been linked to lowering mild depression and boosting energy. Folic acid also has been known to help keep inflammation at bay.

        Advertising

        1458649211_daf18c2215_z

          4. Dark leafy green vegetables

          Spinach, collard greens, chard, and kale are all great providers of magnesium. This is known to have mood-boosting effects by increasing the levels of serotonin in your body. Magnesium is also known to help decrease inflammation that can be the leading cause of chronic illnesses.

          6033999022_3b7d8b9656_z

            5. Roasted cherry tomatoes

            Within the bright red skin of tomatoes is phytonutrient lycopene, which helps with combating inflammatory compounds that are linked to depression. Cherry tomatoes are recommended over regular-sized ones because they are smaller in size and therefore you are likely to eat more, and get provided with more effective anti-inflammatory fighting qualities. Why roast them? According to research, cooked tomatoes increase the lycopene your body will take in during consumption.

            Advertising

            1122613434_e16c553232_z

              6. Wild salmon

              Omega-3 fats that are commonly found in salmon are known to prevent depression. The human body cannot produce its own omega-3 fats, so it is crucial to get it from outside food sources in order to maintain overall mental and physical health. These fats also help to minimize low-level inflammation throughout the body and brain.

              3813297843_360ddae748_z

                7. Dark chocolate

                Research has proven that dark chocolate (in small doses) can act as an excellent mood booster, as well as improving brain cognition by increasing blood flow to the brain with the flavonols found in this sweet treat. Dark cocoa has been also known to help decrease the stress hormone cortisol, as well as help cut down pro-inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein. 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate 70 percent or higher is the recommended daily amount.

                Advertising

                6835170405_6d031c4f26_z

                  8. Green tea

                  This healthy beverage has been utilized around the world for centuries because of its many healing properties. It is also a great drink to start the morning with or have for a midday energy boost. Green tea has a compound called theanine, which is an amino acid that helps reduce stress and relax muscles. The catechin polyphenols in this tea help with monitoring inflammation throughout the body. It also has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism and increasing your overall energy.

                  5144264102_eedb3d83c6_b

                    9. Chickpeas

                    Known for its healing properties like tryptophan, folate, and vitamin B6 that help boost your mood and fight inflammation throughout your body. Chickpeas are also known for having the trace mineral manganese that helps with energy production, regulating your metabolism, and providing an antioxidant defense.

                    Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

                    More by this author

                    10 Reasons Why You Should Have A Drummer Girlfriend 10 Things Only Step-Siblings Can Relate To What It Really Feels Like To Be An Only Child Introverts Are More Successful In Life 10 Traps Most Women Over 30 Fall Into. Read This If You Want To Be The Survivors

                    Trending in Food and Drink

                    1 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go 2 Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brain Health And Brain Power 3 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 4 These 25 Healthy Meal Ideas Can Be Ready in 30 Minutes or Less 5 17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                    13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                    13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                    Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                    Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                    Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                    1. Stress Eating

                    I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                    While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                    I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                    If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                    How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                    2. Nail Biting

                    Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                    People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                    Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                    For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

                    Advertising

                    3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                    We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                    Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                    Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                    4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                    Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                    While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                    Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                    Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                    5. Smoking

                    Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                    In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                    Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                    Smoking risks

                      6. Excessive Drinking

                      All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

                      Advertising

                      According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                      • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                      • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                      • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                      • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                      • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                      If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                      If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                      7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                      Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                      If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                      A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                      “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                      And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                      While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                      Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                      Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                      8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                      There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

                      Advertising

                      In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                      Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                      Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                      9. Watching Too Much TV

                      I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                      Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                      Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                      It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                      10. Being Late

                      Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                      Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                      Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                      11. Being in Bad Relationships

                      Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                      I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

                      Advertising

                      Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                      12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                      Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                      Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                      Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                      By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                      Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                      13. Focusing on the Negatives

                      In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                      Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                      Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                      And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                      The Bottom Line

                      So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                      Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                      Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next