5 Foods To Boost Your Mood

It’s no doubt that we’re going through hard times.  The current world crisis has most of us staying in our homes nearly the entire day.  We have to work harder than ever to maintain a positive attitude and a healthy mood. Both for ourselves, the people around us, and for all of the people of the world.

There are many things that have a positive impact on our mood.  Taking time to exercise. Effectively managing our stress. Taking time to be with others that we care about.  All of these things play a big role. But eating the right foods can have a larger impact than you would imagine.  And because our passion is food, we decided to put together a list of some foods that can help you maintain a healthy mood. 

These specific foods were chosen because of their connection with the neurotransmitters in the brain that work to regulate your mood.  Specifically serotonin, which is the anti-depression neurotransmitter (as you’ll remember from our previous posts). Eating the right diet mixed with the other things above can make a big difference for your life, especially right now.  Here is our list of mood boosting foods:

Salmon
-We constantly hear that salmon is one of the most nutritionally-dense foods that a person can eat.  The main reason is because of its concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are the building blocks of our neurotransmitters, including serotonin.  Salmon can be more expensive than other food options, but most budgets should allow for the ability to add this superfood to the plate once a week.

Walnuts
-The walnut is another food high in omega-3 fatty acids.  Walnuts are great because they are so versatile. They can be added to salads, to your morning oatmeal, or they can be packed in a little baggie for a snack throughout the day.  They can easily be added to any diet.

Broccoli
-This leafy green vegetable breaks down into B vitamins in the body.  And B- vitamins help with the production of serotonin. Broccoli is a great food because it is so widely available in so many forms.  It can be eaten raw and can also be cooked in a variety of ways.

Ground Turkey
-Ground turkey is high in protein.  Protein breaks down into amino acids in the body.  And amino acids help with the replenishment of neurotransmitters.  Ground turkey can be easily made standalone on the stove in a pan, or even better yet, made with vegetables as a part of a stir-fry.  It’s a healthy and inexpensive protein that is easy to add to your diet.

Eggs
-“The incredible, edible egg” as they say.  Another food high in protein that works to replenish your neurotransmitters.  This superfood is inexpensive and can be used so many different ways. Hard boiled eggs can be eaten standalone for a quick burst of protein.  Or even better, can be added to a salad.

These everyday foods can be easily found at all grocery stores.  They can be added to any diet. Many of them are amazing as a combination, giving your body the right environment for a healthy mood.  Finding small opportunities to add more mood boosting foods can help all of us to maintain a healthy emotional life during a tough time.

Food 4 Fuel has a wide selection of foods to help you maintain a healthy mood.  We make it easy and convenient for you to treat your body with care. Take a look at our meal options here.  Use the discount code mood10 to get 10% off of your next order!

The Importance of Gut Health

What does “gut health” mean?  Many people are asking this question because articles on the topic have been making the rounds in nearly every major publication.  Food 4 Fuel conducted some research on the topic, and we believe this is something you should be paying attention to. Maintaining the health of your gut has greater implications than you would imagine.  Beyond the benefits of a highly functioning digestive system, the state of your gut may play a key role in your mental health.

Let’s answer the question we started with:  What does “gut health” mean? “Gut health” refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract.  And follow with another question: why does “gut health” matter? According to Tara Menon, a gastroenterologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center:  “We now know that the GI tract is full of trillions of bacteria that not only help us process food but that also help our bodies maintain homeostasis and overall well-being.”

One thing of particular interest is something called the “Brain-Gut Connection.”  Scientists are starting to discover that we may have a “second brain” and that brain is in our gut.  It’s called the enteric nervous system (ENS). According to Jay Pasricha M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, “Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination.  The enteric nervous system doesn’t seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain—with profound results.”

Research has found that gut health has links to depression and anxiety.  It has also been associated with other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and some cancers.  It is also well documented that certain gut bacteria exist to promote inflammation, while other gut bacteria exist to fight inflammation.  When the contents of the gut maintain a healthy balance, these different types of bacteria work to keep each other in check. And your risk of developing and/or worsening these chronic conditions can be reduced.

In our last post we outlined the specific neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate anxiety (GABA), depression (serotonin), and focus and motivation (dopamine).  And ways to boost these neurotransmitters to lower anxiety and depression and boost your focus and motivation. Research has found that these neurotransmitters are produced by your gut cells.  This is truly where the “Brain-Gut Connection” comes into play. Maintaining proper gut health can mean everything for your mood and motivation.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has dedicated a lot of research to this topic.  They put together a list of ways to give you the best chance to maintain proper gut health:

1) Eat the right foods
2) Get more sleep
3) Move more
4) Manage stress
5) Get help for issues like anxiety and depression

Let’s talk about eating the right foods, because that’s something we’re extremely interested in.   According to John Hopkins Medical Center gastroenterologist Gerard Mullin, M.D., “Americas’ fiber intake is 40 to 50 percent of what it should be.”  A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides the fiber that builds good bacteria and gut health. Other foods have been found to promote a healthy gut, including yogurt, foods containing whole grains, almonds, legumes and beans.

Food 4 Fuel has a wide selection of foods to meet your gut health needs.  We make it easy and convenient for you to treat your body with care. Take a look at our meal options here.  Use the discount code guthealth10 to get 10% off of your next order!