Grey, dreary and more cloudy than cheerful? When not only the weather but also the mood is in the basement, only one thing helps: food. But please no indiscriminate frustration (fr)eating! This usually ends with a bad conscience and even worse mood.
What you need is food that takes you in your arms: Good mood food. Healthy food that makes you happy.
The Good Mood Food not only tastes good, but also contains valuable nutrients that ensure that happiness hormones are released. And everyone would probably take a second serving of this.
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Good Mood Food: You can eat good mood
The word Soulfood (English for “food for the soul”) does not come from nowhere. Food is much more than just a stupid food intake that keeps us alive. “Food influences body and soul, our well-being and our moods.
That is why it is so important to eat things that are good for us.” This is the opinion of the ecotrophologist and food journalist Isabell Heßman, who addresses this topic in her new book mood food (published by Christian Verlag, for 25 euros) is dedicated with a lot of heart, to the point.
Happiness hormone serotonin ensures good mood
The only question is: With which foods can we positively influence our mood? Our moods are – how could it be otherwise – caused by hormones. However, this also applies to this pleasant feeling of contentment. That we are happy is due to the happy hormone serotonin. The messenger substance is produced directly in the brain. There it performs its most important function as a mood enhancer. So it would be nice if there was always enough of the body’s own stimulant available.
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You can push your serotonin balance through your food. The happiness hormone is found in a whole range of foods. The same thing works with foods that contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which is necessary for the production of the happiness hormone. If this is missing, your serotonin level suffers.
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By the way, in her book Isabell Heßman not only reveals which foods are real comforters, but also provides the right recipe for every mood.
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The next time you’re stuck in a mood hole, the real food gets you out of it. These foods are real mood boosters:
1. good mood guarantor to go: bananas
Bananas are real miracle weapons against the everyday blues. They provide both serotonin and tryptophan. The happiness hormone serotonin brightens the mood and has a relaxing effect. Already you feel better. At the same time it is the natural antagonist to the stress hormone cortisol. It ensures that you can switch off more easily and can enjoy this pleasant feeling of contentment. The whole process is supported by tryptophane, which also boosts serotonin production.
Result: Your mood will rise.
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Bananas also provide magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. And the bright yellow brings a little colour into the dull everyday life even before eating and thus already sprays a few positive vibes visually.
2. delicious soul food: avocado
Avocado always goes. To everything. You’ll have an even better argument for this in the future: the green fruit is a really good source of serotonin and tryptophan. No wonder that the avocado with its hard skin and soft core makes hearts beat faster in rows.
Avocados are not only raw, but also gratinated with egg, a real treat for the palate © Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock.com
There is a further plus point for the lecithin it contains. As the main component of cell membranes in the brain, it keeps you mentally fit and enhances the performance of your short-term memory. Your nerve cells also benefit from the antioxidants that avocados provide. These act as protection against free radicals that can damage and age nerve cells.
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3. good mood food: nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are not only the perfect snack for when you’re out and about, but will even put a smile on your face. More of that please! Because the small bundles of energy provide you with important nutrients. Especially when your nerves are bare. The reason is the contained Vitamin-B -complex. Among other things, they provide vitamin B1 and vitamin B6, which strengthen the nerves and are involved in nerve regulation and nerve growth.
The vitamin E content is also impressive. The fat-soluble vitamin has an antioxidant effect and thus protects your cells from free radicals. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect and strengthens the immune system. But that is still not enough. Nuts and seeds also provide essential omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, tryptophan and serotonin.
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4. good catch: salmon
Salmon is a real perennial favourite, especially because of its healthy fats. The essential omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart, lower blood fat levels, are involved in energy and cell metabolism, alleviate inflammation and are needed for the production of hormones. So they are virtually part of the all-round package to make you feel fit and powerful.
So delicious, so healthy: salmon is a real all-rounder in the kitchen © Dima Sikorsky / Shutterstock.com
Salmon is also rich in vitamin D. Your body can produce it itself in sunlight, but in winter we usually get far too little of it. So you have to find other ways to help. Because the vitamin not only strengthens your bones, but also improves your concentration and lets you sleep well. These are important prerequisites for keeping calm even in stressful times. The special combination of omega-3 and vitamin D is also said to boost serotonin production.
A real all-rounder for switching n to happy mode.
5. healthy mood enhancer: whole grain bread
Fortunately, the formula for wholemeal bread is the length of the carbohydrate chains. Before the carbs are available to your body as energy suppliers, they must be broken down into their smallest components (simple sugars). The longer the chain, the longer the whole thing takes. In this way, the sugar molecules gradually end up in the bloodstream, so that your body is evenly supplied with energy over a long period of time and cravings (and bad mood) don’t stand a chance.
Carbohydrates make it easier to absorb tryptophane and this ensures the next good mood boost.
6. comforter: dark chocolate
Finally: Chocolate must not be missing from our list. Whether you have a broken heart, constant stress, everyday frustration or work frustration: chocolate always helps. And that’s just as well, we don’t want to take your chocolate away from you.
Chocolate cake helps in all situations © Farknot Architect / Shutterstock.com
Before you break into the next bar, you should just take a look at the cocoa content. It should be at least 60 percent. It is not the sweet sugar that makes you smile, but the cocoa. The higher the percentage, the more flavonoids are in the chocolate. These secondary plant compounds have an anti-inflammatory effect. They also strengthen the brain and promote your memory. This also applies when baking with chocolate.
Chocolate also provides magnesium, which among other things regulates the metabolism and is responsible for the relaxation of the muscles.
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7. good mood food: healthy fats
That fat does not make you fat but happy is proven by high-quality oils such as linseed, rapeseed, olive or coconut oil. What makes them so healthy are the unsaturated fatty acids they contain. Linseed and rapeseed oil, for example, are particularly rich in omega-3, especially alpha-linolenic acid. Omega-3 fats are essential for us, i.e. vital.
Since they are involved in an incredible number of functions such as cell metabolism, hormone production and brain development, we would be completely lost without them.
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Another candidate in the group of healthy fats is coconut oil, which has experienced a real hype in recent years. For good reason: it is characterized by its medium-chain fatty acids, which can be metabolized particularly quickly. They can be converted into ketone bodies and are therefore a quick source of energy that additionally boosts your thinking power.
Conclusion: (healthy) food helps against bad mood
With these foods, good spirits are just a meal away. So let’s dig in, ladies! By the way, you’re also allowed to eat on “good” days. There are no risks or side effects here. On the contrary. On a good day, a delicious meal is just the icing on the cake. And on a bad day, just eat twice as much.