When you feel down and weary, it is natural to forage for any kind of food to elevate your spirit and get energy. Unfortunately, most people often turn to high calorie and sugary foods that aren’t even healthy. Food is one of the factors – environment, stress, sleep, mood disorders, etc. – that affects the mood of a person. Nonetheless, some types of food continue to show evidence of the ability to improve brain activity and energy levels when eaten in certain quantities. Here are the best mood and energy-boosting foods to start your morning:
1. Smart Carbs
There is no way you are going to require high energy but end up snubbing carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the fuel for the functions of the human body. For health and other reasons, some of us avoid regular carbohydrates, in which case smart cabs would be a better alternative. Smart carbs describe anything prepared using whole grain or wholesome food: whole-grain pizza, whole grain cereals and pasta, and corn. Starchy veggies and fresh fruits too also qualify as smart carbs.
Carbohydrates can actually make you sane. Intake of carbohydrates has been found to boost the levels of serotonin – the chemical of happiness – which is exactly what you need to lighten up your cloudy mood.
2. Lean meats
Lean meat is any meat with low-fat content. The most common example of lean meat is skinless turkey and chicken and some red meats like pork chops. The skin on chicken and turkey normally accounts for about 80% of its fat signature.
While lean meats are known to be a source of proteins, they can provide energy when accompanied by some light carbs. Emerging research findings show that amino acids are effective killers of depression and mood swings. Also, amino acid tyrosine is known to boost two brain chemicals – dopamine and norepinephrine which are necessary for increased focus and alertness. Lean meat is rich in vitamin B12, which has been found to be a reliable reliever of insomnia and depression.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. And because dark chocolate is mainly made from cocoa, there are a lot of antioxidants (often called flavonoids) involved. The reason why lovers prefer treating their significant others with a bar of chocolate is not that it is a trend. Rather, it has something to do with chocolate being to bring the feel-good factor most people don’t even realize, so they keep asking for more, or at least that’s what studies show. A 2016 study found out that chocolate boosts cognitive function and mood.
4. Plenty of Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Morning sunshine is enough to help your body create enough vitamin D, but what if you always work the whole night and sleep in the mornings? What if you don’t get enough time to bask in the sun in the mornings? There is a solution for that – diet with plenty of vitamin D.
Some of the foods that supply a lot of vitamin D also happen to provide considerable amounts of energy. Mushrooms, for example, come with about 13μg of vitamin D per 100 grams, but still supply significant amounts of energy. Other foods rich in vitamin D are Mackerel, Salmon, and Tuna. Studies show that foods rich in vitamin D can help ease depression and mood issues.
5. Leafy Greens and Fiber
Leafy veggies like the healthiest kale or collard greens you could find in your grocery store come with enough folate per serving to keep your moods steady for weeks. Research shows that folic acid, from which folate is made, helps lower depression while preventing an array of ailments in expectant mothers and their unborn. Get enough of folic acid and fiber by consuming Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Peas, and Leafy Greens.
6. Moderate Caffeine
You might have tried this already – do you remember the evening you came back from work, worn out and in bad moods, but things changed immediately when you sipped a cup of coffee. There is a strong chance your coffee will be accompanied by a moderate amount of sugar which will provide the energy you need before you get to dinner. Because caffeine is a stimulant, you are assured to improve your minds with a cut or two of it. In fact, beverages like coffee are the number one recommendation you’d give to anyone with low moods because these plants come with a lot of natural caffeine in their seeds.
7. A regular and nutritious breakfast
Nothing sets you in the right mood for the day like waking up to your favorite breakfast. Also, breakfast is normally prepared in such a way that it can provide you with all the energy you need until lunchtime. Choose foods with plenty of fiber, good fats, and nutrients. Cereals and oatmeal can be a great start. Add in a few fruits like bananas, apples, and citrus fruits. It just goes unsaid that nuts and whole grains must find their way on your breakfast plate as well.
And those are what you need in the morning to get energy and set you in the right mood for the day. Remember, too much of anything is poisonous. Stick to proper proportions of and avoid repeating the same meals every day.