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Boost Your Mood

Top 5 foods to Boost Your Mood

Brain chemistry is a fascinating thing!   There is a true physiological connection to certain foods that we eat and how they make us feel.  This is based on neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass messages from one nerve to another.   These neurotransmitters become more or less active based on diet.  By altering these chemicals, you can, in fact, alter your mood.. How cool is that????

 Here is my top 5 list of foods that will send you right into a GREAT mood at just about any time of day

 

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100% Whole Grains 

These are things like 100% whole grain bread, cereals, pastas, and brown rice.  These foods are great for LOTS of reasons, but are specifically great for mood because they cause a gradual rise in serotonin levels.   Serotonin is the feel good chemical that in high amounts, can boost mood, reduce cravings, increase pain tolerance and help provide healthy sleep.  (The exact opposite happens when you consume refined carbohydrates:  white bread, pasta, rice, and sweets)

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Lean Protein 

Foods such as lean turkey, chicken will increase an amino acid called tyrosine which is found in 2 neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine)   When you raise dopamine and norepinephrine, you activate the central nervous system and see an improvement in mood within 2-3 hours.

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Wheat Germ and Eggs 

Provide high amounts of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that increases concentrations of another chemical called choline, which improves mood. 

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Bananas 

Bananas are high in Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B6 helps make serotonin.  When you are deficient in Vitamin B6, your serotonin concentrations are low, and you tend to feel down in the dumps.  So eat your banana so that doesn’t happen.

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that has   been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving mood.  Sources of omega 3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and up 50%of the total fat of nervous tissue, which can affect serotonin levels.  Research has shown that people that are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids may be more depressed and have higher rates of suicide.

So if you are feeling a bit down and need a pick me up…. Keep these foods in mind and close at hand.  A good mood is as close as your pantry or refrigerator !


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