Mood Boosting Foods
The birth control study conducted in Denmark has been making its rounds over the last week. It’s biggest finding was that teenaged girls are more at risk for depression if they take the birth control pill. Although risk for depression decreases as women get older, mental health status is incredibly important for wellbeing. Much can be done to improve how we feel, starting with these mood boosting foods!
There’s a reason why Naturopathic Doctors live for this leafy green! Kale contains calcium, which helps with depression caused by PMS. Kale is one of the ‘extra’ foods on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen List, so be sure to go organic with this green! I grew it in my garden over the summer, and it’s really the plant that keeps on giving. Kale chips here I come!
If there’s one leafy green that I wouldn’t hesitate to blend in my smoothie, it would be this one. Spinach contains folate, which is not only an essential vitamin for women of childbearing age, it helps support serotonin regulation. Choose organic because this is another green on the Dirty Dozen list.
This nut contains magnesium, which when is low in the body is indicative of low serotonin levels. Magnesium helps with the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. Moreover, magnesium is required for so many functions in our bodies and can be negatively impacted by stress, excess sweating, heavy periods and so much more. Nuts are a great way to replenish magnesium, as well as through unconventional means like epsom salt baths.
You knew this was going to be on the list right? Not only does it contain omega-3s which is important for brain development, it contains Vitamins B12 and D, whose low levels are associated with depression. When choosing salmon, it’s best to stick to wild Alaskan as it’s low in mercury, high in omega-3s and is a sustainable source.
Not even the Paleo diet could keep me away from this legume. Chickpeas contain Vitamin B6 which helps curb depression related to PMS. B6 is needed for the formation of neurotransmitters (like serotonin) to help with mood regulation. Because the chemical BPA is found in can linings, soaking your own chickpeas in water overnight may help limit BPA exposure.
Now it’s time to supercharge your meals! Whether that be eating hummus as a snack or blending one of the greens into a smoothie – incorporating these foods can be relatively simple. If you’re wanting that extra boost, supplements like probiotics, fish oils, and herbs can help out too! To make sure you’re supplementing with high quality products at the right doses, book an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor.