We know it comes every year…May gray and June gloom. As I write this, we’re on day 2 of clouds. And with the quarantine still existing, it can be hard to boost our mood without all of what Southern California has to offer being available to make us smile. Maybe you’ve spent the last couple of months or so baking and making comfort foods, and of course you can’t beat that kind of smile. But there are foods that can help boost your mood beyond the taste buds. Let’s take a look at some mood boosting foods that we can use during June gloom.
The one of a kind feeling that we get from chocolate is perhaps the fastest remedy to feeling down. The caffeine, sugar, and decadent flavor are only part of it. Dark chocolate also contains N-acylethanolamine, which is similar to a cannabinoid and helps increase mood. Flavonoids are also in dark chocolate, and they boost brain health in several ways, including increasing blood flow to your brain. With all of these factors, we think it’s a good idea to keep some dark chocolate on hand for when you need a smile.
A B-Vitamin rich food, bananas are a great go-to for an energy boost. The sugar in bananas is released slowly, due to the fiber content, so this combo means more sustainable energy. There’s also a good amount of prebiotics in bananas, which have been proven to lower the rates of mood disorders.
Our bodies don’t make Omega 3s, though they are essential for making our brains happy, our cholesterol lower, and our hearts healthy. Though the research is new on the relation to omega 3s and boosting mood, it is promising. We can get our Omega 3s from seafoods such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as canola oil, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
The anthocyanins that give berries their color also have been shown to lower the risk of depression symptoms. There is also an antioxidant defense in our bodies that is enhanced by eating foods like berries, rich in vitamins A, C, and E. The National Institute of Health has a study on the positive effects of these foods which you can read here.
Eat your Breakfast
Skipping meals can cause ups and downs in our energy as well as our mood. When you start your day with whole grain, high fiber, and good carbs like oatmeal, or probiotics like yogurt, you’re beginning with nutrients that are meant for brightening your day. Overnight oats anyone?
What healthy food list is complete without greens? For the benefits of boosting mood, we highlight the B Vitamin Folate. Having a healthy amount of folate helps regulate seratonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels, 3 hormones that have a ton to do with energy and mood.
Our Southern California lifestyle is a great recipe for happiness, so even if we don’t get as much outside time as we’d like, we can still have the best of our local food culture, and the availability of so many mood boosting foods.