Next time you make your shopping list, consider adding positive mood-supporting foods to give vitality and energy and support overall wellness. Focusing on these five foods when creating your recipes and adding these ingredients to your daily diet is an easy, small change that can have a big impact on your health. All are easy to find in your local natural foods store at no additional cost to your grocery bill, and often appear on restaurant menus. You’ll never know how just a few bites can improve your daily outlook on life.
SAFFRON: In Ayurveda, Saffron is considered to be one of the most important positive mood maintaining spices. Saffron, the dried yellow stigmas of the small purple crocus, has been touted for centuries and prized for its ability to maintain a healthy balance of serotonin and help you relax. It can be found in the spice section of any grocery store and in many common recipes from paella to curries. Looking for a quick, yummy fix on-the-go? Satiereal Saffron, a special extract with a bonus of appetite-reducing effects, can be found in Re-Body Saffron Hunger Chews, $19.99 (www.myrebody.com)
COCAO: Dark Chocolate has often been touted as the ultimate mood food, but it’s not the chocolate, it’s what’s IN chocolate that makes a difference. Cocoa contains flavanol antioxidants, which help boost feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.
OMEGA-3 RICH FISH: Fish rich in Omega 3 oils such as salmon, lake trout, herring and sardines are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, they help boost mood by directly impacting the neuro-transmitter pathways of the brain. Omega-3 EFA’s (essential fatty acids) help maintain healthy nerve cells and brain cells functioning. Maintaining adequate intake of omega-3 EFAs is necessary to help maintain the membranes of these cells fluid, which supports positive moods. Keeping fluid cell membranes allows nutrients to move easily into the cell, and waste products to get out.
GREEN TEA: L-Theanine an amino acid found green teas, which help maintain clear thinking and cope better with occasional stress. A daily serving of L-theanine through green tea can help retain a positive outlook that won’t cause sleepiness or drowsiness.
YOGURT: New research suggests that bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract help support a positive mood by communicating with the central nervous system. Occasional stress and frustration can reduce the amount of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. Replenishing your good bacteria with healthy hormone-free yogurt is always a good idea. You may want to consider incorporating a daily probiotic into your routine, too!