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10 Superfoods That Will Super Boost Your Mood

10 Superfoods That Will Super Boost Your Mood

After the rush of the holidays, winter blues can have a great affect on your mood. Staying active and getting enough sleep are important to maintaining your well being, but including superfoods in your diet is another crucial factor to brightening your day. Here are a collection of foods that will give you a boast and put your mind at ease.

Swiss Chard

This leafy green has high levels of folic acid, which has been proven to be a strong mood booster. A study conducted by the University of York and Hull York Medical School discovered a connection between depression and low levels of folic acid. Spice up a meal with some delicious sauteed swiss chard and onions with this simple recipe here.

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Asparagus

A versatile green veggie that can easily be roasted for a delicious addition to any meal and has been proven to raise low folic acid levels that are linked to depression. Asparagus also contains vitamin C which has been connected to easing depression. Eating a cup of this vegetable is recommended to be effective.

Oatmeal

This morning staple is high in magnesium that has been proven to combat anxiety and depression. It also has large amounts of soluble fiber that helps stabilize mood swings. Add flavor to your oats with these simple, but delicious recipes. For maximum results make sure to eat at least 1/2 cup of dried oats to jump start your day.

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Almonds

An easy and filling snack, these nuts are packed with magnesium, which are vital to maintaining good brain health and alleviating depression. Create a savory-sweet snack by making your own trail mix with almonds and other heart-healthy nuts and dried fruits. Snacking on around 23 almonds daily will allow you to see positive changes in your mood.

Dark Chocolate

Have a sweet tooth? Satisfy your cravings and get a natural mood boost through this sweet treat by eating 3.5 to 7 ounces daily. Need another reason to indulge? The Journal of Psychopharmacology concluded that dark chocolate is filled with cocoa flavanols, a key ingredient that helps reduce stress levels.

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Tomatoes

Often mistaken for a vegetable, these fruits are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage cells. Tomatoes are also known to have high levels of folic acid that help prevent depression. The recommended amount is 1/3 cups of tomatoes daily to reach optimal results.

Eggs

This protein-packed breakfast food, assists with your body’s ability to create serotonin. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression. For a bright start to your day, check out these healthy egg-based recipes. It is proven that up to three eggs are safe for daily consumption for healthy individuals, but if you are worried about your cholesterol intake consult with your physician first.LentilsWhat’s better than a steaming bowl of lentil soup on a cold winter’s day? Not much. An added bonus is that lentils are packed with folic acid, which is a major mood booster. Lentils also have the amino acid L-tyrosine, that allows your brain to create the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine that help fight off depression. A cup of cooked lentils is the minimum amount recommended for effectiveness.

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Honey

Nature’s sweetener is known to have a calming effect that can soothe anxious minds. Honey is also known to have tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep by creating the hormone serotonin that is known to aid in relaxation. Try it in a cup of tea, with some plain yogurt or just as a spoonful to have an instant effect on frazzled nerves. Ten tablespoons is the recommended maximum amount for daily consumption.

Mussels

This superfood from the sea is filled with vitamin B12, which is necessary for normal nervous system functioning and is critical in creating a compound named S-adenosylmethionine that monitors your mood. For a delicious and mood-elevating meal, try making your mussels with garlic butter, a recipe where you cannot go wrong. Be mindful that mussels have a high sodium content, where a 6-ounce serving has 627 milligrams of sodium, so consume in moderation.

Featured photo credit: An image of a woman eating vegetable salad via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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