Published on June 6th, 2013 | by George Conte1
The Ultimate List of Foods That Fight Depression and Boost Your Mood
You absolutely can fight depression, boost your mood and be happy through proper healthy nutrition. Many people may be skeptical about this concept since most of us are used to take medicines for any health issue we face.
The reality is that there are scientific data that nutrition directly controls our psychological condition and mood.
“Serotonin is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness. In humans, serotonin levels are affected by diet. An increase in the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine will increase serotonin levels. Fruits with a good ratio include dates, papayas and bananas. Research also suggests eating a diet rich in carbohydrates and low in protein will increase serotonin by secreting insulin, which helps in amino acid competition.”
Omega 3-rich foods are the best mood enhancing foods
According to Lef.org:
“Aging humans who consumed more omega-3s had increased gray matter brain volume and that most new tissue development was observed in the part of the brain associated with happiness”
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are well known for a variety of positive effects for our health and as it seems they are also responsible about our positive mood. One of the best sources of Omega-3 are fishes and Salmon in particular is not only tasty but also a great source with high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids available.
According to nutritiondata.com 100 grams of wild raw Salmon contain 2506 mg Omega-3 fatty acids which are a huge amount, more than enough to cover your daily needs and to enhance your mood.
Iron-rich foods are top-class mood boosting foods
According to the article “happiness is iron” published in the British Medical Journal, iron deficiency is directly correlated with unhappiness.
There is a great list found at healthaliciousness.com about the top ten foods in iron concentration from highest to lowest amounts (per 100 grams):
If you need a solution for your immediate iron needs you can check these two great supplements that are very high on iron and I have found to be very helpful:
- Now Iron Complex (more specialized for your iron needs).
- Nature’s Plus Hema-Plex (for total blood health).
Vitamin D rich foods for seasonal affective disorder treatment
Seasonal affective disorder or “winter depression” can be treated with foods that are rich in vitamin D. This is a serious condition that makes normal people unhappy due to the lack of sunshine during winder.
According to sciencedaily.com and researchers at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) “a daily dose of vitamin D may just be what people in northern climates need to get through the long winter”.
Vitamin D can boost your mood especially if you live in an area with low sunshine since the sun is the main way our body synthesizes this important macronutrient. This is why the lack of sun exposure is one of the main causes of seasonal affective disorder is the lack of sunshine. According to NHS.uk “The symptoms of depression are thought to be linked to the shorter days of the year during the winter months when the body has less exposure to sunlight.”
But don’t worry if you live in an area without enough sunshine, you can directly consume foods rich in Vitamin D. Here is a very informative table with the best food sources of vitamin D, their International Units and Daily Values per day taken by The Office of Dietary Supplements:
As you can see from the table below fish like salmon or tuna can improve your mood in multiple ways, though omega-3 and Vitamin D. Keep in mind that the values above have been found only on wild fishes. Farmed salmon or other fish’s vitamin D values are way lower, almost insignificant.
If there is no sunshine in your home and you hate vitamin D rich foods or can’t consume enough there is a supplement solution for you. Nature’s Plus Liquid Sunshine is a superb alternative that can immediately boost your mood!
I would like to add in this article another resource I have recently discovered. A great book on the same concept of improving your mood and becoming happier through proper nutrition:
“The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body” by Tyler G. Graham and Drew Ramsey MD. You should grab a copy and check it out. The authors have a similar approach to mine about how important is proper nutrition in order to keep yourself happy and healthy!