Moods can go up and down, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Since it started, more people have suffered from mood disorders. Many factors can affect mood in these trying times. Some include being isolated, financial concerns, or even just hearing the news.
There are many ways to cope with stress and bad moods, such as exercise and journaling. Doing something that someone personally enjoys, such as watching a film or a TV show, can also help.
If a bad mood continues to recur for a long period, a person can seek medical help and attend counseling sessions. When they do, they can get help from a company that offers health service billing solutions so that they don’t have to take care of it anymore.
But one popular way for people to cope with their emotions is food. In the U.S., 27 percent of adults eat to relieve stress. But emotional eating is not always a good thing. It can be a gateway to becoming overweight or obese if not controlled. Moderation is essential.
If done in moderation, emotional eating can help improve mood. But the type of food eaten also matters. When you find yourself down and need a mood boost, here are some foods to consider:
Since childhood, people are taught to consume fruits moderately for the sake of their physical health. But one category of fruits does more than just that. Citrus fruits can also help improve your mental health. Some examples of the most common citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and lime, among many others.
Citrus fruits contain polyphenols and flavonoids. These compounds function as neuroprotective agents and can be used in treatments for mental disorders.
Another fruit to add to your diet is a banana. It’s not only good toppings for oatmeal and ice cream. It’s also a good mood booster.
Bananas have serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes mood. Unfortunately, eating just one banana won’t immediately make you feel better since the serotonin it contains doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. What you can do instead is eat a banana along with other foods with serotonin. This combination will help you increase your serotonin levels and feel better.
Omega-3 fatty acids have many benefits for the body. For instance, moderate consumption of fish with fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. And just like other foods listed here, omega-3-rich fish can also bring up your mood.
Fatty fish contains two key compounds: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both were found to help in treating depressive symptoms. There is also evidence that EPA and DHA can be used in treating other psychiatric disorders. Based on this information, adding fatty fish to your meal plan will help you improve both your physical and mental health. Some examples of fatty fish include salmon, herring, and anchovies.
Chocolate is a common go-to food when someone feels down. In one of the films in the Harry Potter series, Professor Lupin is known to hand out chocolates to students to help them feel better.
The sugar in chocolates is a quick source of energy. But apart from that, chocolate also contains flavonoids. And as mentioned earlier, this compound has a therapeutic effect and can boost one’s mood.
Chocolate also has some caffeine content. And according to several studies, caffeine can lower the risk of depression. And just like sugar, caffeine can also give people an energy boost, which can help improve one’s mood.
Coffee and Tea
Next to water, two of the most popular drinks are tea and coffee.
A meta-analysis study found that people who consumed around three cups of tea a day reduced their risk of depression by 37 percent. Other studies found the same results with coffee. For example, in a survey held in Korea, people who drank at least two cups of coffee a day had a lower prevalence of self-reported depression.
The reasons behind these results are caffeine and theanine. The former is found in both coffee and tea, while the latter is naturally present in tea. In a longitudinal study, researchers found that caffeinated coffee consumption lowered the risk of suicide. Meanwhile, studies revealed that those who consumed around 200 mg of theanine reported reduced anxiety before an anticipated stressful and mentally exhausting task.
If someone needs a quick fix to boost their mood, they can pick up certain foods, such as those mentioned above. But they should do so moderately to avoid health problems that result from emotional eating.