For some people, eating anything is a great idea whenever they feel down and depressed. That problem with such an approach is that it can turn you into an overweight mess. You may end up gaining too many pounds that your health suffers, and ill health often leads to bad moods. It’s a vicious circle.
But there are food options you can go with that are especially effective in uplifting your mood. At the same time, these are superfoods – they’re packed with nutrients that can help keep you healthy and strong.
Essentially, superfoods are foods that are mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy. Blueberries, salmon, kale, and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the “superfood” label, and actually a health benefits.
Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, which are thought to fight off cancer. They also have healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) thought to prevent heart disease; fiber thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; and phytochemicals — the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits.
You don’t need specific foods for specific ailments. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of the following superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer.
- Pulses. If you don’t know what these are, they’re the edible seeds in legumes. These are packed full of protein and fiber, which makes then really nutritious. Eat them as part of your vegetable pasta, or you can munch on healthy chip snacks like Beanitos which has it as one of the ingredients. While you’re at it, go add peas, beans, and lentils to really keep the doctor away.
- Oranges. This is a food that filled with a lot of water, which should be quite effective in rehydrating you if you neglect to drink water as often as you should. It even contains electrolytes like those sports energy drinks, so it should really perk you right up. Thought to benefit your overall well-being, oranges have been linked to a sharper mind, clearer skin, a healthier immune system, and more.
- Watermelon. This is another water-filled food option for effective rehydrating. What you need to realize is that dehydration is a common cause of feeling down and fatigued, and it’s a problem often associated with sleeplessness. So if you’re feeling “low battery” in the afternoon, a serving of watermelon should give you an extra boost of energy. Studies suggest watermelon could also potentially lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Eggs. Haven’t you ever wondered why so many breakfast meals include eggs? That’s because it can also raise your mood for the rest of the day. It’s a terrific source of protein, but that’s not all. It has vitamin B12 that assists with brain function, while it also has choline that’s involved with muscle control, memory, and mood. According to the USDA, every egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. Eggs also have all nine essential amino acids and are rich in vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5, making them one of the most nutritious superfoods.
- Figs. This superfood contains lots of important nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These are the minerals that help with muscle contraction and blood flow, which in turn affects your sleep. If you sleep well at night, chances are you’re going to be in a good mood the following day.
- Salsa. Of course, salsa cheers you up, since it satisfies your craving for Mexican food. Also, salsa is actually made with veggies all chopped up, and vegetables are healthy. When you have tasty veggies, it’s a time for rejoicing.
- Wine. You must have heard about folks who drown their sorrows in wine. While overindulging doesn’t work (since alcohol is technically a depressant), a little bit goes a long way. Moderate alcohol consumption is linked to better moods. It’s also associated with good health due to antioxidants and too long life, and these are things that should make you happy.
- Asparagus. This is great when you’re feeling lackluster and bloated. A half-cup of asparagus supplies 50% of your daily bone-building vitamin K and a third of your day’s folate. Get some for dinner and the prebiotics in the asparagus should settle your stomach.
- Coffee. Lots of people start their day with coffee, and they sure perk right up even in the middle of the day when they have their cuppa joe. Scientific research has confirmed the essential goodness of coffee, with a long-term study lasting for 10 years discovering that regular coffee drinkers are less likely to become depressed.
- Matcha. If you want caffeine and for some reason, you can’t stand coffee, try matcha instead. This contains as much caffeine as coffee. Caffeine is also good for you, and that’s according to the USDA. About 300 to 400 mg should do to boost your mood and to improve your cognitive functions. Matcha and other green teas are loaded with polyphenols, a potent antioxidant, as well as alkaloids and L-theanine.
- Oatmeal. The fiber it contains will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Also, it contains B vitamins that optimize how your body absorbs energy from all the other foods you eat.
- Pistachios. If sleep issues are making you cranky and fatigued, munch on some pistachios after dinner. You’ll get a good night’s sleep due to magnesium, protein, and vitamin B6.
- Raspberries. Not all sweet snacks are bad for you. Raspberries may be sweet enough to cheer you up, but it only contains 5g of sugar. It does have 8g of fiber, and that’s a full third of your daily fiber needs. Whether you enjoy them as part of your breakfast, as a dessert, on a salad or in a smoothie, the health benefits of berries are as versatile as their culinary preparations.
- Sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes and squash also usually make the superfood list, for reasons similar to those listed for leafy greens. This is because of the vitamin B6 these fries contain. It’s great for cognitive development, not to mention that fries of any kind are just terrific for low moods.
- Spinach. The nitrates in spinach reduce your cholesterol, and it can improve your athletic performance! Greens are important because they contain tons of vitamins and minerals and they’re actually a really good source of protein. Leafy greens also contain an abundance of carotenoids, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Superfoods might be a good entry into healthy eating, and understanding the nutritional value of the food you eat can be enlightening. Including superfoods as part of daily nutritional intake is great but only when consuming a healthy, balanced diet overall.
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