Maintaining one's physical, mental, and emotional well-being requires proper nutrition. A person is healthy if their body and mind are in balance. And to achieve proper nutrition you must include a variety of fresh, in-season, and nearby fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and millets on your plate to bring in diversity and reap the rewards of all the macro and micronutrients that support your wellbeing, says nutritionist Amar Puri, who also founded Steadfast Nutrition.
Antioxidants Help Maintain Balanced Emotional State
Compounds known as antioxidants can help maintain a balanced emotional state. Include foods rich in antioxidants, such as blueberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, green tea, cabbage, pumpkin, kale, avocados, beetroot, broccoli, spinach, carrots, whole grains, dark chocolate (in moderation), spices, and herbs since they help reduce oxidative stress and improve wellness.
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The digestive system produces more than 90% of serotonin, popularly known as the feel-good hormone. Thus, the digestive system both breaks down food and controls how we feel and behave. Having our favourite meal or cuisine can make us feel better and help us fight stress by raising the body's serotonin levels, says Puri.
The B9 vitamin folate aids in the production of the feel-good hormone dopamine. Consume chickpeas, beans, leafy greens, papaya, grapefruit, and cantaloupes—foods high in folate every day.
Serotonin is boosted by vitamin D. Sunlight, mushrooms, eggs, milk, fish are some of the foods that are high in vitamin D.
Magnesium Helps Calm Heartbeats
Magnesium is a mineral that improves muscle and nerve function and aids in keeping the heartbeat calm. Have magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, soy milk, chia seeds, bananas, and cashews because magnesium shortage can negatively influence gut health and can cause symptoms that resemble anxiety and sadness.
How Does Zinc Help Improve Mood?
Zinc supports the intake of serotonin and dopamine, which improves mood, and it strengthens the nervous system's ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Zinc cannot be made or stored by our bodies. Therefore, it's crucial to incorporate foods and supplements high in zinc into our everyday routine. Good sources of zinc include oysters, lentils, chickpeas, red meat, eggs, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, and spinach. Limit your use of alcohol, tea, and coffee as they can prevent the body from absorbing zinc.
Probiotics, which are living microorganisms that enhance intestinal health, are abundant in fermented meals. Probiotics can improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase overall wellbeing. Be careful to incorporate items in your everyday meals such as yoghurt, buttermilk, raita, rice kanji, carrot kanji, idli, dosa, dhokla, fermented pickles, kombucha tea, and kimchi, among others.
What Are Neurotransmitters That Control Our Mood?
Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are neurotransmitters that control our mood, attention, and mental state. Physical activity aids in their release. In persons with anxiety, sadness, stress, and ADHD, exercise improves mood (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Exercise can increase focus, sleep, reduce inflammation, and elevate mood in addition to making one feel more active and energised throughout the day. Exercises that can keep you physically active include swimming, running, weight lifting, yoga, dancing, and participating in your preferred sport.