Food & Mood

In my book, 52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally, I have included small sections that I refer to as “Food and Mood.” Our diets can really affect our thoughts, and in turn, our behaviours. I encourage you to make changes in your meals, to promote your own happiness. Keep checking back for more food tips, including tips on reducing sugar intake, incorporating healthy oils into your diet, as well as what vitamins can boost your mood.

Food and Mood – Serotonin & Tryptophan

Did you know that there is a natural pharmacy in your brain? You can gain access to positivity releasing chemicals just by eating the right foods. This tip focuses on releasing the “happiness hormone,” serotonin, but throughout this book, you will find a wealth of information relating to the food you eat and your mood.

Serotonin is often referred to as the “happiness hormone,” despite the fact that it is actually a neurotransmitter. However, it certainly does increase feelings of happiness, relaxation, and well-being. When our body releases serotonin, we experience the feeling that everything is going to be all right. Our anxiety is eased; letting us sleep better, focus on tasks, and maintain a positive outlook on life.

So how do we release serotonin in our bodies? Tryptophan is the basis for conversion into serotonin. Many proteins contain tryptophan (you know, that amino acid that makes you feel sleepy after eating turkey), and consuming foods rich in tryptophan will contribute to the release of serotonin. So, if you aren’t eating these foods already, take a look at the list, and see which ones you can incorporate easily into your diet.

Foods High in Tryptophan
Red Meat
Poultry
Fish
Seafood
Cheese
Milk (including soy milk)
Eggs
Dried date
Sea weed
Parsley
Papaya
Onions
Mushrooms
Mustard greens and seeds
Watermelon
Celery
Squash
Carrots
Turnips & Rutabagas
Beets
Dried apricots
Sweet peppers

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