Best Fruits and Vegetables to Enhance Your Mood
We’ve all heard that “you are what you eat” – but, in actuality, what you eat can affect you who you are.
Our bodies are delicate balances of chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. Food not only sustains life, it determines the quality of that life. Fruits and vegetables are integral sources of nutrients essential to balancing mood and improving mental acuity.
Below are seven of the best fruits and vegetables known to enhance mood. Eat a few of these a day and your psyche will thank you for it.
In addition to being a great source of potassium (which studies have found improves brain function), bananas are high in B6, a vitamin that increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Bananas also offer the mood-regulating relaxant tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for your lovely Thanksgiving turkey dinner afterglow.
Broccoli boasts impressive levels of folic acid (also known as Vitamin B9), an entity necessary for a number of bodily functions, including cell growth, the production of healthy red blood cells and mood regulation. According to Livestrong.com, “fruits and vegetables that contain folic acid can help to boost serotonin levels and improve mood.” If a person is deficient in folic acid, symptoms can range from diarrhea and a swollen tongue to headaches and mental depression.
Like broccoli, spinach (and most leafy vegetables) contains a hefty dose of folic acid. Spinach is also a wonderful source of the mineral magnesium, a natural anxiety combatant. Without enough magnesium in your diet, you may find it hard to concentrate in addition to being fatigued and irritable.
Not all fats are created equal. Olives contain “healthy” fats, which are responsible for lower anxiety and anger levels. And the useful culinary ingredient olive oil provides the same benefits when eaten cold, as in salad dressings, or lightly heated below 170 degrees. Other fats are better for high heat cooking.
Deep colored vegetables like berries are steeped in complex carbohydrates, which supply glucose to the blood. This translates to higher body energy and elevated brain activity – combating depression and decreasing irritability.
Like their more conventional spud counterparts, sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates. Carbs tend to have a calming effect on the human body, increasing serotonin levels.
Fresh fruits and vegetables hydrate and energize while being amazing sources of antioxidants. Full Circle is proud to offer a wide selection of locally-sourced, organic produce that keeps mind and body strong.
Do you feel better after eating fruits and vegetables? Which ones work for you? Tell us in the comments below. Looking for other healthy eating tips? Check out our post on making your own sprouts.