What the Heck are Mood Foods?
More than ever, people are looking for natural ways to manage stress and anxiety. A spotlight has been shone on our mind-body since the pandemic. Nutrient dense foods are vital in maintaining and thriving mentally. And more specifically, certain nutrients play critical roles in supporting our cognitive and mental state. I’ve heard the term mood foods bantered around over the past two years, so let’s see what the heck are mood foods?
Mood Foods 101
Remember there is no one food or single ingredient that is a magical solution to put you in a good mood. However, certain nutrients and foods may have a positive impact your mood. Last year, I partnered with my client Algarithm Ingredients in Saskatoon to write about the benefits of Omege3s. This nutrient is not only significant in cognition, but it has the potential to aid in depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Other significant nutrients to nourish your noggin include choline, B vitamins and ones found in nootropics. Let’s explore my top three mood foods.
There are so many types of citrus fruits from blood oranges to clementines. Just the smell of fresh grapefruit on a dark winter morning makes me feel more awake! Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which offers your body immune-building energy. One of the first signs of vitamin C deficiency is fatigue. Eating is about enjoying the colour, aroma, and taste of the food, and citrus fruits have it all. I love adding lemon slices to water for a refreshing zing and staying hydrated is also a very important part of maintaining energy levels throughout the day.
Green Tea – Specifically Matcha
Matcha is the whole Tencha leaves ground into a powder. It boasts more health benefits and less caffeine than regular green tea. This shade grown tea, rich in theanine (an amino acid) and catechin (an antioxidant), helps the body stay energized and the mind stay alert. I drink it alone and make lattes with it, too. I like to use my ceremonial bamboo whisk when I make lattes for an extended experience! Remember: To get the delicious taste of matcha, don’t use boiling water. I find the best flavour is at 80°C (175°F). I boil the water and then let it stand for a few minutes until it cools down a little.
Seeds – Specifically Hempseeds
Seeds are must-have foods for me. Let’s focus on hempseeds. I often get asked the question, “Is hemp marijuana?” The simple answer is, “No,” but let me explain. Both hemp and marijuana have the same classification of Cannabis sativa. However, hemp lacks the primary stimulating psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, known as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While marijuana is bred to increase the THC component, hemp, on the other hand, is bred to maximize the amount of fibre and positive oil characteristics. Hempseeds have a unique ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids and are packed with plant protein. Both are important for energy and mental health. After my early morning exercise routine, I love adding hempseeds to Greek yogurt, along with walnuts and blueberries for a brain-building smoothie. For more share brain health seed solutions check out my book The Need for Seeds.
What the Heck are Mood Foods Bottom Line
It’s vital to eat a balanced dietary pattern for overall mind-body health. The Mediterranean diet is one example of an eating plan that may be linked to improvements in mood and anxiety.
Eating well, staying hydrated, keeping your digestive tract running smoothly and being active are more important than ever as we navigate post pandemic life. As a result, get restful sleep, manage stress, have a fitness plan and most important have fun and feel good!