Good mood foods: How what you eat can boost your spirits

Thursday, May 04, 2017 06:13PM
Sandra Bookman has the story


NEW YORK - We know your diet can play a large role in how you feel physically, but did you know it can affect your mental health as well?

They're called good mood foods, and they're easier to find than you might think.

"The food we eat directly influences the way our body responds to everything," says registered dietician Brooke Alpert.

And she says it's possible to structure your diet in a way that makes you feel better and get through the day easier. That's what grad student Charlotte Diamond says she did.

"I lost 35 pounds, I was feeling I was on cloud 9," she said.

Diamond insists it was never just about the weight. "These foods make me feel something, they made me feel like I was doing something that magnetically worked inside my body," she said.

Nutriionists say there's science that backs up that mood-boosting claim. So here are seven superfoods that could make you healthy and perhaps happier.

Wild salmon is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, linked to helping with depression and anxiety.

"Wild salmon also contains an amino acid called tiraseen and this amino acid directly affects how your body responds to stress and reacts to stress," said Alpert.

Organic eggs are also stress busters, rich in antioxidants and Vitamin D.

Green leafy veggies, like kale, spinach and swiss chard, are loaded with folate, a B vitamin that stimulates those feel good hormones, dopamine and seratonin.

As does turkey, with the amino acid tryptophan.

And who doesn't like chocolate? We're talking the good stuff: dark with 70 percent cocoa or higher.

"That bite and that feeling of euphoria that you get when you have dark chocolate is legit, it's scientifically proven that it works," said Alpert.

Rounding out the list: green and black teas. Both contain an amino acid that calms and relaxes.

"Do I feel immediately mood boosted, so to speak, when I eat a piece of salmon? No, it's a cumulative effect," said Diamond.

But eating this way on a regular basis may make those highs and lows less jarring, while improving your overall health as well.
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