Saturday, May 28, 2016


By Guest Contributor

5 Foods to Boost Your Mood

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You probably heard that chocolate and bananas are mood-boosting foods, while regular exercise helps keep the blues at bay. Compounded with exercise, your diet can help to improve your mood. In fact, a healthy diet made of smarter food choices not only helps to rein in your waistline, but also helps keep depression at bay. On the other hand, a diet high in fat, sugar but lacking in fruits, vegetables, and fibre wreaks havoc on your health and mood.

Eating five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily, as well as whole grains, lean meats, and the occasional treat, is the best way to sustain good physical and mental health.

To keep the blues away, strap on your running shoes and head out for a run, and include these foods in your daily diet:

1. Fish

Fish is one of the best foods that help to fight depression. Rich in protein and heart-healthy fats, studies have shown that fish brings about anti-depressive benefits that makes it a good addition to a healthy meal plan. Aim for a three-ounce serving of fish twice or thrice a week, particularly cold water fish such as salmon and mackerel.

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2. Grass-Fed Beef

High-quality protein is essential to a mood-boosting diet. One such example is grass-fed beef, which contains more of the omega-3 fatty acids that help to manage depression. Aim to eat about three- to four-ounces of lean meat daily, and steer clear of processed meat, as these have been proven to increase your risk of depression.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

These are an important component of any healthy diet to fight depression. In fact, depression symptoms found to be associated with not eating enough fruits and veggies. Fruits are naturally rich in minerals, vitamins, and micro-nutrients, and make for a sweet treat. Eat a variety of fruits, including antioxidant-rich berries and mood-boosting bananas. Aim for about three servings every day.

As for vegetables, a diet filled with leafy greens and high-fibre root vegetables brings you a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fibre that also protect you against depression. Go for four servings of vegetables daily.

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4. Whole Grains

Whole grains and other high-fibre foods beat refined sugar and flour products any day in maintaining brain health. Keep your blood sugar stable by going for slow-burning foods like whole-grain bread or brown rice instead of white bread and other refined carbohydrates. Blood sugar-stabilising foods regulate brain neurotransmitter secretions, which in turn regulates our mood. On the hand, refined carbs cause our blood sugar level to spike and dip dramatically, causing us to ride on sugar highs and lows. Include four to six ounces of whole grains every day, and go for products that provide at least 5g of fibre per serving.

5. Nuts

Nuts are nutrient power houses packed with fibre, protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats. But be sure to keep track of portion size, as nuts are also calorie-dense. A handful of nuts several days a week adds up to about four ounces a week, the recommended serving. Munch on nuts that contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids like walnuts as they are not produced in the body. Nuts are an excellent on-the-go snack that keep not just the munchies at bay, but also hunger-induced bouts of irritability.

Photo courtesy of ZALORA Community

* Bonus

6. Chocolate

Chocolate contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant believed to boost our mood. A study showed that those who drank the chocolate with the highest amount of polyphenol experienced the greatest mood boost, feeling happier and calmer. Just be sure to go for dark chocolate for an antioxidant boost, and watch your portion size! A small square is all you need to reap its benefits.

What are some healthy foods you indulge in for a mood boost? Share your tips in the Comments section below!

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1 comment:

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