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Does Diet Affect Your Mood? Five Tips for a “Happy” Diet

When you’re depressed, you  don’t stop to think about things, let alone the mundane everyday tasks you’ve always done, like eating. You might not realize that vitamins and hormones dictate our emotions, and serotonin plays a huge role in depression. Serotonin is a chemical that your brain produces when it’s feeling genuinely happy and content. Depression often comes from situational turmoil in one’s life, but it can also come from inadequate serotonin production, which means a person can feel depressed even if he or she has a great life. Other vitamins influence our moods as well, so it does make sense that the foods we eat play a role in how we feel.

Here are some foods you can eat to help improve your mood on the “bad days”.

  • Eggs, fish, lean beef and chicken are all rich in Vitamins B-6 and B-12. These vitamins help promote chipper and relaxed moods.
  • Nuts and seeds, like almonds, are magnesium rich. Magnesium is a big one if your depression is from a chemical imbalance because it promotes serotonin production and it increases natural energy levels. Opting for sugary or salty nuts won’t work as well as the unsalted or unsweetened brand.
  • Complex carbohydrates like strong grains take longer to digest, and that helps regulate blood sugars. When blood sugar isn’t spiking, irritability isn’t either.
  • Green tea contains an amino acid L-theanine that diminishes the appetite, which prevents overeating and the subsequent remorse, and it naturally increases happiness.
  • Opt for complex fruits, like pineapples and pomegranates. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A and C as well as copper and fiber all help you feel and look better. A good theory is that if it’s hard to eat, and if it takes effort to chew, it will probably take longer to digest, and it improves blood flow, serotonin production, and weight loss.