Snack Smart, Work Happy: 11 Mood-boosting Foods
Do you ever feel lost at work or cranky and can't properly focus? Well, you are not alone. We've all been there, and we know it cannot be easy.
There can be many reasons for the same, but do you know your diet plays an important role in your mood? Studies have shown that food can either hinder or improve your mood and overall well-being.
It has been shown that certain foods can be beneficial for overall brain health and help with certain mood disorders.
In this blog post, we'll discuss eleven mood-boosting foods that can significantly impact how you feel at work. So, get ready to munch on them wisely and work happily.
Importance of food for mood and productivity at work
"You are what you eat" is a cliched statement you might have always heard, and that is not wrong. The food we eat significantly affects our mood and productivity at work. When we eat nutritious and healthy foods, our brain receives the nutrients it needs to function properly. Hence, it results in an increased cognitive function and a happy mood.
When we eat unhealthy meals, our bodies may suffer from inflammation, impaired brain function, and decreased mood and productivity.
Furthermore, a diet high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed foods can contribute to chronic health disorders. Diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease can increase absenteeism at work.
Choosing the correct meals to snack on can thus positively affect how we feel and perform at work.
In this article, we will review eleven natural mood-booster foods and beverages. You can always store these mood-boosting foods as office snacks or in your kitchen cupboard. All these foods are for your everyday routine to promote good health.
1. Dark chocolate
Chocolate contains mood-boosting chemicals such as sugar, caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine. All are related to enhancing your mood when you are feeling down.
It contains flavonoids, which improve brain health by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation. Dark chocolate is the best choice to snack on because it contains more flavonoids and less added sugar. This is also an ideal option for you since it's easy to store.
You should limit yourself to 1-2 small squares with 70% or more cocoa solids at a time.
2. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha can help with gut health and mood by producing probiotics. The gut microbiome, which plays a role in brain function, produces up to 90% of the body's serotonin.
Studies suggest that a healthy gut is linked to depression. It has been studied that the bacteria in fermented foods contribute to a decrease in depression rates.
Suggested Read: This Winter Snack On Food That Boosts Serotonin
3. Dark leafy greens
Nearly half of all Americans do not consume enough magnesium, a mineral that helps lower anxiety, among other things. Dark leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are essential for brain function.
So eating them is a convenient method to get your daily nutrition from vegetables while improving your brain health. They increase serotonin, a mood-enhancing hormone that helps us feel better and avoid despair.
Often, these greens are categorized as comfort foods, given that they are consumed daily by many people.
4. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish, like salmon and albacore tuna, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which the body cannot create independently. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil is known to reduce depression symptoms.
Experts believe individuals should consume at least 250-500 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily. Eating salmon a few times per week is an excellent way to incorporate these fats into your diet.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain plant-based proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and tryptophan, an amino acid that produces mood-enhancing serotonin. They are an important part of the Mediterranean diet, which may promote brain health.
A 10-year study found that moderate nut consumption was associated with a 23% decreased risk of depression. Certain nuts and seeds are high in zinc and selenium, both essential for brain function.
Caffeine in coffee inhibits adenosine's attachment to brain receptors, enhancing alertness and attentiveness. As a natural stimulant, coffee promotes focus, alertness, cognitive performance, and dopamine and serotonin levels.
It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases. It also implies that coffee has additional chemicals that influence mood.
Coffee should be consumed in moderation to avoid unpleasant side effects.
7. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are high in fiber and protein, but they also fall into the category of feel-good minerals.
In addition to being high in B vitamins, they also increase neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
Furthermore, B vitamins play an important function in nerve signaling, allowing nerve cells to communicate properly. In particular, low B12 and folate levels have been associated with mood disorders, such as depression.
All in all, they're good sources of zinc, magnesium, selenium, and non-heme iron, which might help lift your mood.
Bananas can help make your mood better. They're abundant in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 aids in producing feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Managing moods is easier because blood sugar levels are more stable when sugar and fiber are released slowly.
Low blood sugar levels can cause irritation and mood changes. Banana is high in prebiotics and fiber that helps feed good bacteria in your gut. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to a lower prevalence of mood disorders.
Suggested Read: 10 High-Fiber Foods For Better Health at Work
9. Whole grains
Whole grains are high in vitamin B, which is essential for maintaining a positive mood. Vitamin B6 deficiency has been linked to stress, sadness, and irritability in studies. You should always include whole grains to maintain a properly balanced diet.
Do not eliminate carbohydrates from your diet.
10. Green Tea
According to a Japanese study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking green tea four times per day lowers depression symptoms.
This could be due to various mood-boosting substances present in it, including L-theanine, an amino acid that aids in treating anxiety. Green tea also contains caffeine, just enough to give you a boost when feeling down.
Blueberries have more antioxidants than other popular fruits or vegetables, providing brain-boosting advantages. Blueberries, being high in flavonoids, help regulate mood, boost memory, and protect the brain from aging.
Other analysts believe there are more advantages. Studies suggest blueberries may be useful for treating PTSD and other mental issues caused by anti-inflammatory compounds.
Including mood-boosting foods in your diet can increase productivity and overall well-being at work. There is a range of meals that can supply the nutrition and energy you need to power through your workday.
These foods can help you have a pleasant mood and increase cognitive performance. So, instead of choosing unhealthy options, try these 11 mood-boosting foods and go to work joyfully!
Q.1 What exactly are mood-enhancing foods, and how do they work?
Mood-boosting meals contain nutrients that improve brain function and boost good moods. Meals high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, promote brain health. Tryptophan-rich meals, such as turkey and bananas, are also beneficial. They help create serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter.
Q.2 Why is it necessary to eat well at work?
Snacking wisely at work is critical since food directly impacts our mood and productivity. Choosing the correct snacks can help you keep your energy levels up, increase your focus, and boost your mood. It results in a more productive and positive work atmosphere.
Q.3 How can mood-boosting snacks improve productivity?
Consuming mood-boosting foods can promote productivity in a variety of ways. They can improve attention and concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, provide long-lasting energy, and boost cognitive performance. Employees who are happy and in a good mood are more likely to like their jobs and complete their responsibilities efficiently.
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