28 July 2014

Foods that make you cheerful and peaceful

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Diet containing liberal servings of fruits and vegetables may be protective against chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc. Likewise, certain foods are known to improve mood and alleviate minor depression.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that helps to exchange signals between brain cells that affects temper and personality. A natural mood regulator, serotonin makes you feel emotionally steady, less anxious, more peaceful and even more focused and brisk.

Depleted levels of serotonin are believed to cause mood disorders and depression. Serotonin is also known as happy hormone.

Here is the list of foods that elevates our mood and alleviates our gloominess.

Bananas

No wonder the most intelligent of our animal relatives love this fruit – it’s packed full of brain-healthy nutrients. Eating bananas/ plantains regularly may help to improve mood through the increased production of serotonin in the body considering that banana is a good source of vitamin B-6 which is a precursor for the synthesis of serotonin in the body.

Dark Chocolates

Eating dark chocolates increases serotonin levels in the brain which acts as an antidepressant. They also contain theobromine, caffeine and other substances that are stimulants, which can be helpful to improve concentration and focus.

Dairy products

Dairy products contain tryptophan (precursor of serotonin) and calcium, which make them exceptional sleep-inducing foods. A cup of warm milk is a widespread therapy for insomnia, and it works as milk contains tryptophan. α-Lactalbumin, a minor constituent of milk, is one protein that contains relatively more tryptophan than most proteins. Calcium facilitates your brain to utilize the amino acid tryptophan to activate the sleep-enhancing serotonin

Nuts and seeds

Consuming almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds are linked to higher levels of serotonin. A handful of these nuts help in lowering cholesterol too. Walnuts can improve sleep, as they contain hormone melatonin, that induces sleep and helps regulate sleep.

Oats

Oatmeal is a specific complex carbohydrate that increases levels of the neurochemical serotonin in the brain. Serotonin produces a calming effect on the brain and body to relieve feelings of anxiety, nervousness and insomnia.


Image Credit: Flickr/ Brett Davies