5 Foods to Lift Your Holiday Mood

Find out what foods will contribute to a good mood during this sometimes-stressful time of year...

December 24, 2013

Certain foods can stimulate the feel good parts of your brain. And other foods have the opposite effect. So during this sometimes-stressful time of the year, what foods will contribute to a good mood? Find out here.

Chocolate! It's not your imagination, chocolate is a known joy stimulant. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, those who drank a polyphenol-rich chocolate drink once daily (the equivalent of 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate) reported feeling calmer and more content than those who didn’t. And it makes sense as cocoa is known to boost serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is associated with a good mood. In fact most anti-depressants work on boosting serotonin.

Protein! Making sure your meals and snacks include a good source of protein is a sure way to keep your mood high and prevent blood sugar lows. Snacks like an apple with almond butter, or a cheese stick or some carrots and hummus are great choices. The more energy you have, the better your mood.

Bananas are not only a sweet addition to a snack or smoothie but also a great source of mood boosting dopamine precursors! Dopamine helps us feel satisfied, happy and connected.

Turmeric can be seen on almost every health list these days. This yellow spice, commonly used in Indian cooking, contains curcumin, a compound that is very protective to our brain. It can help keep away the brain fog, which can make us feel happier and more productive.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also a great health and mood promoting substance. The Most direct sources of omega 3s are the fats found in salmon, sardines and fish oil supplements. One omega 3 specifically, DHA has a beneficial effect on mind and mood and is very active in brain protection and development. 

As of now the food mood connection isn’t a sure science; the evidence isn’t bulletproof and correlation does not prove causation. It is very difficult to study nutrition patterns and behaviors, health outcomes, etc as there are many variables. The best thing you can do for your self and your family is to listen to your body, and see how you feel after eating certain foods. After all we are all individual and will have different triggers.

If your want to keep your mood high, stay away from processed foods, sugar and any known food allergies or sensitivities!

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