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“I feel tired and depressed all the time and lack the energy to do stuff and I never seem to wake up properly during the day and rely on coffee or Red Bull and I just want to feel energised like I did in my twenties where I could smash the day and just keep going.” There’s a solution. The food you eat seriously dictates your mood. Here are 6 mood-lifting foods that can drag you out of the dumps and set you back on top of your game.


1 | Omega-3 Rich Foods


Studies have shown that people who eat foods rich in omega-3 such as mackerel, salmon and walnuts have a lower risk of depression. 


Furthermore, research shows when people who already have depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms get better. 


As a bonus, salmon also contains vitamin B-12 which may help combat depressive feelings and energises you. 


Vitamin B-12 is commonly deficient in people with depression. Check out my article, ‘Smarter, Stronger, Faster: 5 Mind Blowing Benefits Of Cod Liver Oil‘ to learn how omega-3s can improve your life.


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mood-lifting foods
2 | Foods Loaded With Magnesium


Dark leafy greens such as spinach are loaded with magnesium and are one of the greatest types of mood-lifting foods.


Magnesium is responsible for regulating muscular and nerve function, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.


Interestingly, almost half of Americans are low in magnesium.


What’s the bottom line:


Without the required levels of magnesium in your body studies show it can lead to anxiety and in some cases depression.


Scientists are even looking into using magnesium to treat depression.


So if you’re feeling like crap, start eating dark leafy greens now.


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mood-lifting foods
3 | Probiotics


More and more is being discovered about the miraculous effects of probiotics. 


Research suggests certain probiotics can isolate serotonin (a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good) from bacteria within the gut.


This could even have an affect on the serotonin in your brain. 


Also, brands such as Yakult contain the probiotic LcS (L.casei strain Shirota). Studies have shown LcS can help you better handle stress.


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mood-lifting foods
4 | Foods Full Of Flavonoids


Flavonoids are antioxidants which help keep cell-damaging free radicals in check and are found in a wide range of mood-lifting foods. 


Put simply, science shows they can stop you from getting ‘the big C’ or coronary heart disease.


Studies on young people also found flavonoids found in foods such as blueberries, apples and cashew nuts improve general mood and supercharge your energy levels.


Ensure you get a daily dose of flavonoid-packed food to feel in high spirits.


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mood-lifting foods
5 | Zinc


We need zinc for our bodies immune system to work properly.


Various studies have shown being deficient in zinc is commonly linked to depression.


It also helps modulate our body’s response to stress, so it’s an important nutritional tool for staying cool and calm in your thirties.


Get this:


Our bodies have no specific zinc storage capacity so we need to regularly get our daily dose of zinc from foods.


The National Institute Of Health recommends that men in their thirties get a daily zinc intake of 11mg.


Mood-lifting foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, crab, lobster and pork.


However, if you’re a vegetarian then be sure to eat a lot of baked beans, cashews and chickpeas.


Also, seriously consider taking a zinc supplement. Zinc is found in high levels in meat, but considerably lower levels in vegetables and nuts.


You can find a list of foods that are high in zinc and how much zinc they contain here.


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mood-lifting foods
6 | Foods Crammed With Complex Carbohydrates


There are a wealth of studies that support the notion of eating carbs to potentially increase serotonin in the brain.


However, this doesn’t mean you can wolf down chocolate, donuts and pizza to feel like a god.


Simple carbs such as white bread, cakes and cookies are high on the glycemic index and cause a fast spike of energy followed by a fall. 


While they may make you feel good for 30 minutes or so, they’re not the answer to long term health and happiness.


Simple carbs may cause you to pile on weight, drive your blood sugar levels all over the place and many contribute to inflammation.


So what carbs should you eat?


Eat mood-lifting foods that contain complex carbs for a longer release of serotonin and overall better health.


Complex carbs are broken down slowly and won’t cause a huge insulin spike sending your blood sugar levels crazy.


They will also boost your energy and make you feel epic.


Complex carbs include beans, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, oats and brown rice.


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In A Nutshell


  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 such as salmon, mackerel and walnuts to ease anxiety.
  • Drink probiotics such as Yakult and Activia to better handle stress.
  • Get plenty of dark leafy greens packed with magnesium to increase energy and calm nerves and anxiety .
  • Munch on foods that are loaded with flavonoids such as blueberries, apples and cashew nuts for a better mood and less risk of cancer and heart disease.
  • Consume your RDA (11mg) of zinc to boost your immune system and feel less tired and stressed. Zinc can be found in foods such as oysters, beef, crab and baked beans. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan consider taking a zinc supplement.
  • Eat complex carbs such as sweet potatoes, oats and butternut squash for a boost in mood, energy and potential hit of serotonin to the brain.


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