Have you ever thought that the reason why you have been feeling a bit under the weather is because of the food you consume?
For many years, people believed that the food they consume only affects their physical health, forgetting that physical health has effects on mental health too.
According to research, food not only affects our physical well-being but also impacts our mental health.
Therefore, understanding what your body needs to function for brain health, heart health and overall nutrition is imperative.
READ MORE: The heart-healthy diet to protect your heart
According to a study done in the National Library of Medicine, on Nutrition and behavioural health disorders: depression and anxiety, “diet is a modifiable risk factor for depression; thus, improvements to diet may reduce the burden of depressive disorders.”
In addition, the study also shows that having a nutrient deficiency, particularly in; zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids is associated with poor mood quality.
If you have ever feel a little down in the dumps, try these foods for a quick pick-me-up.
Chocolate is known for its richness in mood-boosting compounds.
According to Healthline, dark chocolate may release a cascade of feel-good compounds, such as caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine, a substance chemically similar to cannabinoids that has been linked to improved mood.
READ MORE: 5 health benefits of chocolate
Bananas are inexpensive, easily accessible and can definitely help improve your mood.
According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine on B6-responsive disorders: a model of vitamin dependency, bananas are high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesise feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Heathline states that when bananas are paired with fibre, sugar is released slowly into your bloodstream, allowing for stable blood sugar levels and better mood control. Blood sugar levels that are too low may lead to irritability and mood swings.
From a young age we all have been told that “breakfast is the most important part of the day.” Oats are a whole grain that can keep you in good spirits all morning.
According to healthline, oats is an excellent source of fibre. Fibre helps slow your digestion of carbs, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable.
People often crave coffee the most when their energy levels are down, they often need this hot beverage to kick start their day, to feel energised and happier.
Heathline states that the caffeine in coffee prevents a naturally occurring compound called adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, therefore increasing alertness and attention thus improving your mood.
Fruits and vegetables
Maintaining a healthy diet can help improve your overall well being which includes your mental health.
According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine on Fruit and vegetable consumption and health outcomes: an umbrella review of observational studies, eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression.
Written by Unathi Balele for Bona.
Feature image: Moyo Studio via Getty Images