Over the past few years, one must have heard it a number of times that nothing could make a woman happy. Well, we are not sorry to burst that bubble. Tons of research has linked nutrition to mental health.
So, could it mean the food you eat has the power to elevate your moods? Absolutely! Studies have discovered that there is decreased anxiety for those opting for probiotics.
Research even shows a link between clinical depression and dietary patterns. It seems the old age adage “you are what you eat” was undoubtedly correct. Research has found a higher risk of ADHD for those consuming sugary foods and carbonated beverages. That’s not all! The link between your nutrition and your moods remains strong enough for doctors to recommend women eat their way to good health.
Diet impacts women in specific ways, and act as mood elevators in distinct ways. Let’s find out why what you eat can make you a happy woman.
The Link Between Food and Mental Health
Women require a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Both are the keys to good health. Research shows a stable link between unhealthy diets and mental distress. Women function best when having a healthy diet and lifestyle pattern.
Studies have even found women were twice as likely to face depression and anxiety, with higher chances of relapse as against male counterparts. Women have denser brain connectivity, and because of this reason, their moods are sensitive to dietary variations.
What Women Should Eat!
A multitude of research connects mood with diet. Consuming healthy foods is the key to being happy. Women, therefore, have to be mindful of how food impacts mood. When it comes to planning the best diet, moderation and diversity are mission-critical.
Exercise is a critical component here, as well. The connection between mood and food exists with each individual. Still, for women prone to mental health issues because of the multiple roles and personal pressures they undergo, it becomes even more crucial. Individual nutrients are linked to brain health.
Women need to eat omega-3 fatty acids like fish, seeds, nuts, and algae oil. B vitamins are also found in seafood, greens, meats, eggs, legumes, or whole grains. Equally crucial is a healthy intake of selenium-rich foods. Think walnuts, Brazil nuts, and poultry.
Finally, spread a bit of holiday cheer with turkey rich in tryptophan(1). Women also need an adequate intake of vitamin D. Eating the right foods improves clarity and well-being.
[ Read: Multivitamin for Women ]
How Strong is the Link Between Diet and Happiness?
Positive mental health is strongly linked to a proper diet. Women could treat depression and anxiety by managing their food instead of opting for pharmaceutical medications. Results of studies also prove diet is an excellent complement to mental health therapy and medication.
While diets like Mediterranean and Paleo are popular, don’t get caught up in food fads strictly. Instead, try to add nutrient-filled foods like kale and salmon to your diet. Even if you don’t struggle with mood issues, eating such foods can benefit your mental health.
Foods that replace sugary, fatty or processed staples can be the secret to a happy and healthy you. Dietary antioxidants offer a great way to boost your mood. Higher vegan consumption is associated with low depression, fewer mood problems, and better overall health in women.
One study even showed more than two pieces of fruit a day could keep the psychiatrist away! The occasion lean meats and treats will support food health. Food interacts to reduce health problems. Here are the top 10 nutritious foods you should include in your diet.
[ Read: Healthy Foods That You Should Eat ]
Top 10 Mood Boosting Foods
1. Go Nuts
Consuming fresh nuts is the key. Nuts are healthy and densely packed with protein, healthy fats, and fiber, not to mention protein. Munch on nuts to get the best long-term benefits.
2. Try Fish
Fish is healthy food to fend off depression. Research shows that fish is an integral part of Japanese, Norwegian, and Mediterranean diets. These have been recommended for anti-depressive benefits. Eating a three-ounce fish serving twice or thrice a week can help.
3. Choose Whole Grains
Choosing whole grains or high fiber foods over refined sugar or flour can be a wise move. It keeps blood sugar stable and regulates serotonin levels. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that impacts your moods. According to the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, 25 grams of fiber every day is a must for the ladies.
4. Stock Up on Fruits
The more fruits one eats, the lower are the chances of depression. Fruits are brimming with vitamins and minerals, besides a host of other nutrients. Opt for 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit in a day, according to the USDA.
[ Read: Zero Carb Diet ]
5. Eat Greens
There is a wide array of veggies, with loads of leafy goodness and high fiber. High fiber lowers depression. Eating more vegetables correlates with good moods. So when you’re feeling blue, choose carrots, spinach, kale, collard, and other veggies to lower your depression risk.
[ Read: Benefits of Green Leafy Vegetables ]
6. Prefer Probiotics
Fermented foods are rich in probiotic content(2). New and rapidly emerging research on gut health suggests the diet is critical for maintaining healthy intestinal microbiota. Probiotics like kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, and specific yogurts should be your first choice. These foods contain healthy, gut-health, boosting bacteria.
7. Load Up on Legumes
The Mediterranean-type diet has a lot of advantages, including the role in managing and preventing depression. Legumes such as beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and chickpeas are also part of a Mediterranean diet.
Vegetables and other high-fiber foods include asparagus, bananas, and oatmeal support gut health by providing probiotic content. Beans are great. Have at least 1-2 cups per week for the best health outcomes.
8. Hot Cocoa Should be a Hot Favorite
The benefits of chocolate drinks each day for a month can be excellent. Dark chocolate and cocoa contain antioxidants known as polyphenols. Drinking chocolate with the highest polyphenol count boosts the mood and keeps you healthy and happy.
[ Read: Benefits of Black Cocoa Powder ]
9. Crave Coffee
Caffeinated coffee boosts your mood in the short term and in the long run. It’s great for a pick-me-up, a mood booster, and a way to safeguard yourself against depression. 2 cups of coffee per day can be just what the doctor ordered!
10. Stick to Low Fat
Rather than opting for heavy dairy products or high-fat, oily, processed junk foods, try low fat and unprocessed items to give your mood a surefire lift.
The mantra for all you ladies out there should be: Eat healthily, stay happy. Ultimately, food can boost your mood, and we’re not talking about creamy bagels or French fries, but healthy meals. Tune into healthy food habits and give your mental well-being the boost it deserves, so you nourish your body and nurture your brain. Give your diet a makeover, if you want to elevate your moods because the results might pleasantly surprise you!