This week, we're spotlighting a guest post by the wonderful Abbey Smith. Enjoy!!
Fruit is very good for your physical and mental health. Everyday Health suggests that eating fruits (and vegetables) significantly lowers your risk of depression.
The Everyday Health article, citing recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), suggests eating a variety of fruits stating that you should eat 1½ to 2 cups worth per day.
Additionally, a Health IQ article cites a seven-year study by the American Public Health Association in which people who ate more fruits (and vegetables) reported a boost in positive emotions and life satisfaction. Notably, the reported change in happiness and satisfaction was akin to “moving from being unemployed (not by choice) to happily employed.”
While fruits in general can help improve your mood, certain fruits have proven to be better mood enhancers than the rest. Here are five fruits that will improve your mood.
This healthy, sweet treat, has long been linked to improving mood, so much so that people suffering from depression have reported feeling better after eating a banana. Bananas improve mood because they contain the protein tryptophan, which the body converts to serotonin, a feel-good chemical that enhances your mood and makes you feel happier.
Dr. Jillian Cole, writing for The Chronicle Herald, includes avocado in her list of food mood boosters and she highly recommends it for those with mental health or brain health concerns. Avocados, like bananas, contain lots of tryptophan.
We have touched on the mood boosting benefits not only of blueberries, but of berries in general in the previous post 11 Foods That Fight Stress. In that post, we explained that berries contain lots of anthocyanin, an antioxidant linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition. Additionally, the Washington Post article “6 foods to eat for a mood boost,” explains that blueberries contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants that “activate brain pathways associated with better cognition and less cellular aging.” The benefits of flavonoids will help decrease one’s risk of depression.
In an article for USA Today, registered dietitian nutritionist Sonya Angelone recommends grapes as an effective mood enhancer. Grapes, explains Angelone, contain resveratrol, which is an antioxidant proven to boost mood.
In the same USA Today article, registered dietitian and MNC Nutrition founder Marjorie Nolan Cohn lists oranges as mood boosters since they are rich in antioxidants that fortify the immune system. The immune system and the brain, Cohn says, are connected: people who are sick often cite their illness as a source of their depression. A healthy body, therefore, means a healthier, happier mind.
Eating fruits, though, is not the only thing you can do to enhance your mood. As discussed in Top 11 Instant Stress Relievers post back in June, listening to music, dancing, and writing, among others, are good stress busters, too.
So for a healthier, happier you, help yourself to a daily serving of fruits, especially those that we mentioned. Finding a worthwhile activity or two will certainly help as well.
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