Mood-enhancing foods and the connection between nutrition and our psyche
Requirements for a healthy lifestyle
Man is a unity of the body (physique), spirit and soul (psyche). Psychiatric causes of malaise often hit the stomach or can even lead to serious illnesses. Thus, mood-enhancing foods are also requirements for a healthy lifestyle and a happy disposition.
The human mind, the brain, acts as a mental force and often has a “mediating role” between physical and mental problems. It is important in life that thoughts be used as a valuable tool to keep the physical and the psychic parts in harmony and balance.
There’s folk wisdom from Austria and Germany: “Eating and drinking keep body and soul together”, which should not be underestimated. If you love yourself, then do good things for the body and also pay attention to take care of a harmonious mental state.
This way, you will achieve absolute and all-around well-being. Spirit and soul only feel good in a healthy and well-taken care of body. This physical and spiritual “hygiene” begins with what foods man eats.
Mood-enhancing edibles, such as chocolate, a hot cup of cocoa, or St. John’s wort tea, often have a wondrous effect when it comes to minor depressive disposition.
What we eat and drink is just as vital to our health as the spiritual goods, such as meditation, that we offer to our inner being for mental and psychological fitness. Nutrition and psyche condition with each other.
Influence of nutrition on health
In general, human food should be a balanced mix of what the earth and the sea have to offer:
Low-fat, vitamin-rich food with pure food (fruits, vegetables)
Fiber (vegetables, herbs)
Low animal protein
Against “hyperacidity”: preferably basic foods
Omega-3 fatty acids
Cold-pressed vegetable oils
Foods with trace elements and antioxidants
Drink enough water
Excessive use of stimulants or “pleasure poisons” made of alcohol, traditional medicine, sugar, nicotine or other hallucinogens and narcotics should be avoided. Maintaining normal levels of fats and carbohydrates is good for your health and results in more energy, as well as overall enhanced physical and mental well-being.
Carbohydrates are considered “nerve food” and lift the mood.
This is also said of sugar and chocolate. That’s right, because the contained sugar increases the production of the body’s own happiness hormone serotonin in the brain. In grief, boredom or in stressful situations, the organism signals: “comfort – hunger – sweets!”
Since most candies are not only sweet, however, but also contain lots of unhealthy fat, they are considered “calorie bombs”. If you are resorting to sweet treats as comfort food on a regular basis, chances are high that this will lead to weight gain in the long run.
Be careful with what you feed your body, especially during times of frustration, or when you need comfort or are bored!
Instead of grabbing a candy bar, ask yourself what your inner being truly needs. If you are listening carefully and with patients deep inside of yourself, then the answer will surprise you.
Behind a hunger attack, sudden food cravings or eating out of frustration always lies a profound reason.
Most of the times this reason is a misalignment between body, mind and soul. For this reason, many mentors suggest meditation, as it gives you the chance to go deep within yourself, find the disruptive source and work on a realignment.
In the realm of the taste senses
Herbs, spices and salt are standard in every kitchen. They, however, not only promote salivation and are “appetite stimulants”.Their essential oils, vitamins, organic acids, bitter and mineral substances are, furthermore, essential ingredients that have different effects on the taste buds.
You truly also eat with your eyes; it’s not just a saying! And, love, most certainly, goes indeed through the stomach.
Have you ever noticed that the exact same food always tastes better when someone else prepares it for you, as to when you cook it yourself?
This is simply because you can sense the other person’s loving vibration, which he or she puts in during the food preparation, more than your own. One can taste the difference very well, whether a meal has been prepared with love or not.
Also, nutrition and psyche interact because even the sight of the food makes your mouth water or, for example, the Mediterranean spices create beautiful holiday memories in this southern region.
Tropical plant species and their “fragrances” such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger or laurel awaken the idea of an oriental market.
Good mood through enjoyable food
It is undisputed that mood-enhancing foods can contribute to a good mood. Especially in the colder season, a cup of hot chocolate raises the serotonin level and, thus, our well-being. The winter depression can be defied with a “feel-good cup of tea”, which contains cinnamon, cardamom and lemongrass.
Motivate and increase your serotonin levels, also at the breakfast table, with honey, yogurt, cereals and fruit. In the evening, a cozy candlelight dinner raises the mood automatically, as well.
Food as a mood-brightener
Nutrition is the basic carrier for life and energy. You should always pay attention to a pH balance of the body, because hyperacidity weakens the immune system, your intestinal flora and can lead to inflammation.
Inflammations, on the other hand, are always the main trigger of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and even Alzheimers.
Happiness hormones through food
Apricots – as fresh or dried fruits, increase the feeling of happiness. The amino acid tryptophan is abundant and is converted in the body into the neurotransmitter serotonin.
It counteracts the daytime tiredness and depression. Tryptophan is partially converted to vitamin B3 (niacin). This works against sleep disorders, poor concentration, loss of appetite and irritability.
Bananas – as carbohydrate-rich foods are calming for the body and mind; not just for toddlers. The high proportion of vitamin B6 counteracts exhaustion or premenstrual symptoms.
As mood-enhancing foods, bananas with their nutrients, such as potassium and tryptophan, are suitable for all ages. Bananas also lower the threshold of depression and ward off insomnia.
Asparagus – with its contained vitamin B complex, plays an important role in the nervous system and mood. Nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K, folic acid, potassium, manganese, protein and copper contribute to increased body energy and lift the overall mental and emotional state of being.
Avocados – contain healthy fats (unsaturated fatty acids), tryptophan, vitamin B6 and folic acid, which in this combination is converted into the mood-enhancing serotonin.
Seaweed and algae – ingredients from the “Japanese cuisine”. They contain iron as an energy source, magnesium for stress relief, iodine for hypothyroidism (depression, lethargy) and calcium, which counteracts mood swings.
Sweet Potato – this carbohydrate package is made up of many nutrients, plus iron and vitamin B6. On the other hand, mood depressions, cravings and sadness have no chance. This tuber also keeps the blood sugar level constant.
Rosemary and sage – are considered medicinal herbs. Their essential oils promote blood circulation and have a beneficial effect on various brain functions. The “feel-good factor” is relaxation.
Brown rice and Brazil nuts – with their substances selenium and magnesium counteract depression, stress, exhaustion and fatigue.
Flaxseed – rich in lignans, works with these estrogen-like components and is hormone balancing. The omega-3 fatty acids hold many positive effects on the body and mind.
Organic milk – with omega-3 fatty acids; Calcium and vitamin D have a direct effect on brain functions (“Milk makes you feel tired”) and contributes to emotional balance. It also stimulates the production of concentration enhancing neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, dopamine).
Out of the blues
St. John’s wort has proven itself in mild depressive disorders. It also has a positive influence on mood control. The ingredient hyperforin contributes to the mechanism of action in the brain. It inhibits important neurotransmitters and, thus, increases their concentration. As an herbal medicine, it relieves the soul and nerves.
Health and nutrition: The basics
The basis of any healthy, balanced diet is the combination of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins and fiber. You can achieve this by informing yourself about what is actually in your food.
You should make it a habit to always check on the ingredient list and/or the origins of all your edibles; from the apple to the ready meal.
Here, I want to mention the rule of thumb – To refrain from industrially processed foods as far as possible, because they contain many artificial ingredients that spur various disease processes.
Do not worry, however, as you do not have to throw out half of your pantry! Just start using up all the finished products in your household, and do not buy new ones.
Purchase products with as few ingredients as possible and remember: If you cannot pronounce an ingredient, then you should not put it in your mouth!
You are adopting a new way of life
A healthy balanced diet is not a diet, but a way of life. Whoever knows where the vitamins and minerals hide, has already taken the first step towards a healthy lifestyle.
Replace non-vegetable carbohydrates and excess protein with healthy fats such as avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, nuts and fresh salmon.
It all depends on the right mix
An easy to remember rule for each meal is to consume ¼ proteins, ¼ grains and ½ vegetables/fruits! The leader among the vegetables is undoubtedly the leafy vegetable, which is rich in vitamin C and calcium.
The front-runners among the fruits are high in vitamin C, and many amino acids. These fruits include blueberries, goji and Acai berries.
Blueberries fight free radicals and cell growth of cancer cells, act as antidepressants and have lots of fiber.
Goji berries and Acai fruits have 500 percent more vitamin C than an orange, 15 percent more iron than spinach, 21 essential minerals, the highest protein concentration of all fruits, and to top it off, they come with 19 different amino acids.
But as with all things in life, balance is also important when eating. A diet based on just one food is unbalanced and deprives the body of other important nutrients.
Fish, for example, is rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3, which is important for cell growth and bone building.
Antioxidants and other important ingredients in fruits and vegetables
Apart from the beautiful diversity, the colors of fruits and vegetables also give us information about their importance for our health and nutrition ingredients.
Red fruits are packed with antioxidants that can do almost anything – from fighting heart disease and prostate cancer to reducing the risk of strokes and aging. Violet or blue fruits/vegetables are rich in phytonutrients such as Resveratrol, anthocyanidin, phenols and flavonoids.
These nutrients are anti-inflammatory, reduce the growth of cancer cells, and aid digestion and absorption of calcium and other minerals in the body. Incidentally, flavonoids combat the aging process particularly effectively.
White fruits/vegetables have a plethora of beta-glucan, EGCG and allicin, which have an antibacterial effect in the stomach and additionally keep the hormones in balance. Orange and yellow fruits have a high beta carotene content.
They also contain a lot of vitamin C, potassium and many flavonoids. They promote the formation of collagen and healthy joints, fight free radicals and together with magnesium and calcium they support bone formation.
The color green indicates a high content of dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, folic acid and lutein. These nutrients not only support the health of the retina and the immune system.
They, furthermore, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, reduce cancer risks, normalize digestion time and combat free radicals. A real powerhouse!
Make it your goal to eat two fruits/vegetables from each color group every day and you are on the right track! The addition of sprouts and nuts to the daily diet helps to replenish the diet with the vitamins, minerals and amino acids, so the body can really benefit from the diet change.
I hope that I, along with the mood-enhancing foods that I described here for you, will be able to uplift your spirits. As always, let me know in a comment below about your experiences with changes in your diet, adding new foods or refraining from some, etc. I’m always curious and happy looking forward to reading from you.
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In the meantime, I’m sending you much love, peace, happiness and an abundance of all good things. Remember that you are beautiful, precious, unique and endlessly loved regardless of what others might say. Thus, keep on shining. ~Namaste – Before thy spirit, I bow~