• Mia Harris

Top Foods to Boost Up Your Mood

Last week was Mental Illness Awareness Week. I saw tons of posts of people sharing their stories and their struggles.m around anxiety and depression. We all live stressful lifestyles and these are things that we all deal with at times but it can affect some more than others. I had many people ask me what they can do to help it and fortunately there are things you can do to help mitigate those feelings, first starting with diet.

Here are a few nutrients to make sure to include in your diet:

Protein: Include lots of good quality, organic protein sources such as eggs, poultry, wild caught fish and vegan sources such as hemp or organic tofu or tempeh. Protein contains amino acids which encourage your brain and body to produce neurotransmitters and hormones that increase serotonin levels.

Omega 3's: Typically in the standard North American Diet, it is easy to get our fill of omega 6's due to vegetable oils and processed foods. Lack of omega 3's can contribute to depression and anxiety. Fatty fish, flax seeds, hemp and fish oil are all excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

B-Vitamins: When we have high levels of stress, b-vitamins are among the first nutrients to be burned up. Deficiencies are common among people with anxiety and depression. A shot of b-12 can help to increase energy levels and give you an extra boost. Food sources include whole grains and complex carbohydrates, legumes, animal protein and nuts and seeds.

Vitamin D: Vitamin that can be hard to come by in the winter when we are less exposed to sunlight. Food sources include organic dairy products, fortified non dairy milk and yogurt. Supplement with a good quality vitamin during the winter months to keep your energy levels and mood high.

Magnesium: Magnesium plays about 300 roles on our body, one of them being the development of serotonin. Deficiency in the mineral can contribute to irritability, moodiness, sugar cravings and fatigue. This is one of my favorite supplements to include, especially at night as it helps to calm the nervous system and encourage a good night sleep.

L-Theanine: A common amino acid that helps combat depression and anxiety. Green tea is one of the highest sources of theanine.

5-HTP: An amino acid supplement that s commonly used for mood disorders and insomnia. Food sources include turkey, chicken, sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as seaweed.

What else can you do?

Getting enough sleep, eating whole, nourishing foods and movement are all part of a healthy lifestyle that can help alleviate stress and anxiety. We all have things we like to do to help us wind down like read, yoga or spending time out doors so make sure you take the time to incorporate more of these things. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

If you are really struggling, please ask for help. There are resources that are out there that can help you.

I am always here to support you in your health journey. If you need help, please reach out.