“For every minute you are angry,
you lose 60 seconds of happiness.”
Happiness, according to dictionary.com is defined as good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
Did you know you mood can be altered significantly through diet and exercise?
Within 10 minutes exercise can help ease depression and relieve stress by releasing mood elevating endorphins. However lethargy and fatigue are associated with depression, making it much more difficult to get started in the first place. The best cure is to start moving with something easy, like walking, or something that you enjoy doing and is fun (and no, lifting the donut from the plate to your mouth doesn’t count!)
Start slow with some stretches, or decide you’ll just do a few minutes of something, even if it’s just taking the trash / recycling out or getting the mail from the mail box. Chances are, you’ll start to feel more energetic and will keep going.
Where possible head outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. Taking a walk in the sun combined with the intake of dairy foods helps boost low Vitamin D level which are closely linked with depression.
And if you really can’t fathom exercise then read on for how water and food can help elevate your mood.
Mild dehydration is a common but often overlooked cause of feeling lethargic. Adults should drink at least 2 litres of water a day, more if you’re exercising.
Drinking caffeinated soft drinks and coffee, these act as diuretics and increase dehydration. An easy tip is for every non-water drink you consume, to consume the same volume of water on top of your minimum (2 latte’s mean and extra 2 glasses of water).
Broad Beans are high in the amino acid L-dopa which, when converted to dopamine by the body is used to help with important brain functions including sleep, mood, learning, behavior, and regulating prolactin production from the pituitary.
One Brazil Nut will give you all the selenium you need to elevate your mood (but 1 only as selenium in large doses is toxic).
Turkey contains tryptophan which boost your serotonin and makes you feel calm (and sometimes sleepy from its sopariphic effect so don’t eat too much).
Green leafy vegetables, in particular Spinach is high in vital brain foods folic acid and folate.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of depression. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines as well as ground flaxseeds, canola oil, walnuts and omega-3-fortified eggs are all good sources.
Dairy products have lots of whey protein, which can reduce physical responses to stress, improve mood and enhance memory. Low fat options are a better choice, and if you’re lactose intolerant try lactose free (treated) cows milk or low lactose options such as goat and sheep’s milk.
Complex carbohydrates help boost seratonin levels and offer far more nutrient value than simple carbohydrates and are released more slowly into the blood stream keeping your mood even.
Tea drinkers benefit from its naturally occurring theanine which helps calm you down.
Dark chocolate (70% or higher) contains phenylethylamine which stimulates the brain to produce serotonin. In addition it contains several other chemicals that stimulate the central nervous system.
BUT REMEMBER: Less is more – don’t over compensate and over indulge. All of these foods should only be eaten in moderation!