Did you know that emotions are not complex or inexplicable feelings but mostly result from chemical reactions? Chemistry and psychology may seem to be poles apart, but are simply two parts of the same whole.
Additionally, the kind of food you eat and how often you eat it indirectly affects your mood. Now that you have an insight into the link between food and mood, let’s close in on these mystery foods.
Chocolate – Well it’s not just an aphrodisiac; this dark fantasy can spoon you out of depression and reduce stress. Rich in antioxidants, chocolates can help you wave anxiety good bye.
Their secret is theobromine and phenylethyamine, mood boosting compounds. But if you’re sad or depressed, it doesn’t mean that you have to go and gorge on awe inspiring chocolates; there is a limit to everything good.
What you can try: If you don’t have a chocolate fountain (and it’s a good thing you don’t!), you can always melt some chocolate in a bowl, dip some fresh strawberries or other seasonal fruits in it and prep up your mood. Strawberries have an additional quality; they can stabilise sugar levels and reduce irritability.
Seafood – Omega 3 fatty acids are a great bonus with the delicious taste that seafood brings to your table; a healthy recipe to ward off cancer and cardio-vascular diseases. It also improves your immune system and reduces joint pain.
Emotionally, it helps to improve your mind and helps to combat other neurological problems inclusive of depression and Alzheimer’s. For all prawn and lobster lovers out there, seafood is a rich source of Vitamin B and minerals like zinc and magnesium that can improve your mood.
What you can try: Chop some onions, ginger and garlic. Add a dash of gram masala, haldi and chili powder according to your taste and fry them in a teaspoon of oil. Stir in the prawns and cook for just a couple of more minutes. Enjoy!
Fruit – Each fruit has a vital role to play in strumming up your mood. The key ingredients to look for are vitamin B and folate as they stimulate amino acids which produce serotonin that pumps up your gloomy mood. This is also your cure for seasonal inflammations. These goodies will also keep your anxiety, stress, anger and frustration under control. Improvement in your mood leads to a healthy body.
What you can try: In a half filled bowl of yogurt, chop in any seasonal fruits. It will instantly refresh your body and mind.
Nuts – One thing all nuts have in common is their ability to enhance your energy in a short period of time. But if you look closer walnut and flaxseeds are a good source of Omega fatty acids. Just a handful of nuts and you’re on a roll, but you are also stronger in controlling negative moods like anxiety and anger.
What you can try: Toss nuts in cookies, cakes and fudge or simply eat them whole.
Pulses, legumes, and cereal – Beans, chickpeas, even brown rice, lentils, soya beans, green peas can improve your mood and power up your energy. The trick they bring with them is that they help to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, and in the bargain they help cut off unnecessary food craving caused by spiking blood sugar levels.
What you can try: Every mother has her own recipe for preparing pulses and cereal, so it’s best not to mess with tradition; unless of course that tradition comes with dollops of oil and sugar!
Low fat dairy – If you can get your hand on Greek yogurt then you’re sure to be happy for the day; it is a rich source of dopamine and norepinephrine present in proteins which is higher in greek yogurt than in regular curds. Low fat dairy also contains vitamins D and B as well as minerals magnesium and zinc. Paneer is high in amino acids, so why not go for palak paneer when you’re down and out? However, remember portion control, as overeating on paneer can cause weight gain.
What you can try: We all love at least one dairy product; drink it, eat it plain, sandwich it between bread, spread it on a chappati, or cook it!