It’s a fact that certain foods have the ability to help your mood by stimulating the parts of your brain that make you happy. It’s also a fact that other foods can play the opposite role, in that they have the ability to leave you feeling not so great.

Indulge responsibly
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that chocolate is one of those delectable delights that can actually boost your mood! Think about how eating something you enjoy, like a milky chunk of chocolate, makes you feel. For most people who nibble on the sweet stuff, a piece of their favorite chocolate melting on the tongue often — quite literally — melts away the stress and leaves you feeling rather content.

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that people who consumed 1.5 ounces of rich dark chocolate each day said they felt calmer and more content than people who did not eat chocolate. The study concluded that cocoa polyphenols produces anti-anxiety effects by interacting with certain brain receptors, much like antidepressants, which aim to enhance serotonin levels or at least keep it in the brain longer.

Load up on protein
Protein is another mood-boosting food that many people overlook.  Marcelle Pick, author of the book Is it Me or My Hormones? suggests people with afternoon munchies skip the candy and soda and instead, reach for protein such as cheese, fruit or even carrot sticks. The reason, she says, is that protein keeps the blood sugar stable, sustaining your energy levels. We all know the more energetic we feel, the better our mood!

A banana a day
You may never look at a banana the same way again after learning that this common fruit has the ability to act like an extra shot of dopamine to the system. Weighting in with a whopping 10 milligrams of dopamine in one average-sized banana, dopamine is our primary reward chemical, the same chemical that gives you pleasure from positive stimulants. A positive stimulant in the form of a shot of dopamine will have a beneficial effect on both your mind and your mood.

Spend more time with Joe
A new reason to enjoy an extra cup of coffee in the morning — the caffeine in both coffee and tea are known mood lifters. The next time you’re having a cup of your favorite tea or coffee, pay attention to how long it takes you to go from moody to marvelous. It will likely be about the same amount of time it takes you to down that first cup of caffeine.

Avoid mood busting food choices
To avoid gloomy moods, researchers suggest avoiding foods such as gluten, sugar and processed foods. Not only are people just eating too much of these mood-altering foods, sugar is known for sending mass fluctuations in our blood sugar levels, leaving us feeling moody and less than energetic . Eating too much gluten, especially for those with reactions to gluten, actually affects energy levels and brain function. It also wreaks havoc on the adrenal gland, the gland responsible for producing the stress-response hormone cortisol. Cortisol also plays a major role in how your nervous system functions.

To get the most out of mood-boosting foods, it’s not always necessary to make large changes to your daily diet — unless your daily diet is completely void of healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables. Instead, enjoy life’s little rewards by choosing different snacks. The next time you find yourself craving chocolate you may not be actually experiencing a craving to satisfy a sweet tooth, but instead, may be experiencing the craving of a food that makes you smile!

 

 

Article Author: Smiljan Mori is the founder of MindOver™ Network, Brilliant solutions for Performance, Motivation and Happiness. He is also the creator of Financial Independence Academy TM , the Kitepreneur NetworkTM and Kitepreneur Business Success AcademyTM. He has literally created a successful business and coaching empire from scratch and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker who brings unparalleled professional experience and the latest scientific research from neuroscience and positive psychology to audiences around the globe. He has shown more than 150,000 people from 50 countries how to change their lives for the better.

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Article References:
Motivaction For Life by Smiljan Mori
http://www.healthline.com/health/mood-food-can-what-you-eat-affect-your-happiness
http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-food-affects-your-moods
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/diet/articles/2011/08/31/food-and-mood-6-ways-your-diet-affects-how-you-feel

Photo Source: courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital Photos