In the proverb “health is wealth”, the part of mental health is inclusive. Your body needs special “messengers” in order to function properly. These messengers are called hormones. There are various types of hormones in our body, and each of them is responsible for specific functions. We need these hormones for different body functions including feeling of hunger, reproduction, various emotions and moods. And that is the reason why certain types of foods, like chocolate and ice-cream lifts your mood. And in this post, we are going to talk about foods to boost hormone function and lift your mood.
Keeping your body free from diseases is not just enough, your mood or the mental health plays a pivotal role in balancing the overall equilibrium. In my article, I will discuss how you can boost the hormone function and thus lift your mood.
Do you feel tired and depressed after coming from home? Do you have a lingering feeling in your mind that your life is too boring and monotonous? Do you feel irritated at minor things? These kinds of reactions are very common in the everyday lifestyle due to the sedentary routine you follow. You wake up, go to work, return home, eat and sleep. This kind of routine life can bring monotony, but guess what; there is way out of it.
By eating certain types of food, you can actually boost hormone function and lift your mood.
What are hormones and how do they affect our mood?
The hormones are the chemical messengers which are produced by the endocrine glands. Hormones stimulate, regulate and control the various functions of tissues and cells in the body. Hormonal balances in the body are controlled by the important neurotransmitters.
The neurotransmitters directly or indirectly control each and every organs of the body, when the level of these hormones decrease due to stress, poor diet and depression, then the neurotransmitters cannot function properly.
The hormonal imbalances can play havoc not just in the organs but also on your mental health.
Some of the hormones and their effects on the moods are as follows:
Estrogen is responsible for increasing serotonin and beta-endorphins which affects the positive state of the mind, and also acetylcholine which is the memory neurotransmitter. Low levels of estrogen may cause depression, hot flashes, sleeping problems and bone loss.
It has a great influence on brain. It, along with estrogen, helps in improving sleep, libido, and also prevents frequent mood swings.
Serotonin is the natural anti-depressant produced by the intestines and the blood vessels. This hormone helps in keeping you energetic and calm throughout the day. You can avoid the panic attacks with the proper levels of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin can cause anxiety and depression, with little or no capacity to fight with stress and tension.
This also works for the overall well being of the body and is responsible for maintaining a proper emotional balance. Low levels of dopamine can lead to cognitive problems and depression.
Acetylcholine weakens the heart and stiffens the arteries when you are angry. This leads to other emotions like bursting to tears, depression and extreme anxiety. People with weaker hearts and high cholesterol can have heart attacks during these times.
Gamma-Amino Butyric acid or GABA, is type of neurotransmitter that greatly affects the growth hormone of humans. It helps in achieving good sound sleep, and also is anti-pain and anti-anxiety in nature. GABA is seen as an emotional relaxant. Patient with bipolar disorders have low levels of GABA, and this leads to severe anxiety and restlessness.
Now that you are aware of the primary hormones and their roles, let’s explore about some of the super foods that boost hormone function and lift your mood.
Try these foods to boost hormone function and lift your mood
What we eat or drink, actually affects how we feel, and that’s because of the hormones. Listed below is the list of top 10 foods that boost hormone functions to lifts your mood.
Leafy and green vegetables
Spinach, broccoli, mustard greens and turnips are some of the best foods that can lift your mood instantly. There are various reasons why you often feel low. The junk foods and the fast foods may be the cause behind it. The green vegetables can flush out the harmful toxins, manage the levels of the hormones and lift your mood. You can make smoothies, juice and even cook it as curry. Have this food almost every day, or at least three days in a week and see the difference for yourself.
Feeling bored or depressed? Munch some nuts, raw crunchy nuts and you will feel better instantly. The nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews are tasty and also healthy for your body. Nuts are rich in antioxidants and serotonin which are the feel-good chemicals. Nuts are also high in calories, so you must check the proportion you are having. A handful of nuts are enough for the day.
Grapes are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids which can affect the mood in a positive way. The juicy sweet grapes are handy and you can have them any time you are feeling low or depressed.
The coconut fiber is very helpful for your body as it has natural properties to detoxify the hormonal imbalances. It helps to maintain the proper levels of all the hormones in the body. Have some pieces of coconut fiber and coconut flour and lift your mood within minutes.
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries are rich in antioxidants. The foods will give you a feel-good attitude in you; you can soothe your appetite too and feel energetic.
Bananas are rich in potassium, minerals and vitamins, and also tryptophan. Tryptophan can increase the levels of serotonin, the mood-lifting hormone. In a study conducted by the Oxford University, researchers found out that patients suffering from depression have low levels of serotonin, and bananas in diet can help in fighting depression. Bananas are rich in iron too.
The dark chocolates can directly act on the neurotransmitters, and help in boost the hormones and lift the mood. It can reduce the level of stress hormones in blood stream; it has flavonoids which make it perfect for fighting against severe mood swings. You can have small square tiles of chocolate; you can add it in smoothies and also in porridge and oatmeal.
Yogurt or curd
Fermentation on milk can produce natural curd which has good bacteria. These bacteria are good for liver and brain. It activates the neurotransmitters and maintains the hormonal balance. Have curd in your lunch every day and enjoy the benefits.
The eggs are rich in protein and amino acids. The amino acids can trigger the mood-lifting hormones making you feel happy and relaxed. The eggs can also make you feel fuller for longer hours. If you are trying to lose your weight, then it is a good idea to include one egg in your diet daily.
The tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, C, and K, and also antioxidant lycopene. Tomatoes are known for its innumerable cardiovascular and neurological benefits and also its mood lifting properties.
Hormones in our body have a very crucial role. It controls various things including the feeling of stress, happiness, hunger and has much deeper role in our body.
Thankfully, there are certain foods that boost hormone functions and make us happy. If you are feeling low, you may try having these foods to lift your mood.
- Raw nuts
- Dark chocolate
Now that you know how to manipulate hormones and feel good, you know what to do when you feel low. Go to kitchen and grab some of these. All these foods are tasty, yet healthy, so there is no reason for you to not include these foods in your daily diet.
What do you do to lift your mood?
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.