The food we put in our bodies plays a big role in how we feel, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar can lead to improper brain function and can worsen diseases like depression.
Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that can do exactly the opposite for our bodies, providing the nutrition and mood-boosting benefits we need to feel recharged and healthy.
Good news for chocolate lovers: dark chocolate (specifically chocolate with a cacao percentage of 70 percent or higher) is packed with antioxidants. Eating dark chocolate also stimulates endorphin production, which helps boost feelings of happiness.
Minimizing the amount of “bad fats” we eat, while increasing the amount of “good fats,” can lead to improvements in brain function. Foods like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help with depression and anxiety symptoms.
Despite their small size, blueberries have a powerful dose of antioxidants that are known to boost brain functions like memory and protect from the effects of aging. Try adding this superfood to smoothies, yogurts, and cereals.
Green tea, which has less caffeine than coffee, may give you a slight boost throughout the day without the jitters that can accompany coffee intake. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that, in combination with caffeine, may improve brain function. Research has shown that L-theanine may also promote relaxation.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and almonds are good sources of omega-3s, polyunsaturated fats that have been shown by some studies to help with mood and depression. In addition, nuts and seeds are high in fiber and protein and can keep you fuller for longer—which can help you avoid reaching for sugary snacks during the day.