There are many ways eating can make you happy. It’s not just the taste of your favourite snacks and meals that can put a smile on your face. Getting a good fix of the right vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids can also do wonders for your mood.
Here’s a quick look at 10 nutrients that can make you feel better and their respective recommended dietary intake.
RDI: 1,000 mg
This mineral is the most abundant in your body. It is crucial to building and maintaining bone strength and healthy blood vessels. It can also ward off diseases as serious as Type 2 diabetes.
Women may have a stronger reaction to calcium deficiency, so it’s much more important for them to meet the RDI. Calcium works with vitamin D to regulate mood fluctuations caused by PMS. You can find calcium in dairy products as well as nondairy sources like leafy vegetables and canned fish.
RDI: 35 mcg for men; 25 mcg for women
This trace mineral aids in food metabolism and allows insulin to be used more efficiently in the body. It also plays a significant role in increasing serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin levels. Its direct impact on these mood regulators makes it an effective ingredient for combating depression. You can find chromium in foods like broccoli, potatoes and turkey breast.
RDI: 8 mg for men; 18 mg for women
Iron transports oxygen helps maintain high energy levels and improves strength. Iron deficiency, which occurs more frequently in childbearing women, is known to cause depression and fatigue.
Getting enough iron doesn’t just prevent anemia, but also keeps all sorts of negative feelings at bay. You can find it in fortified oatmeal, lentils, and dark turkey meat.
RDI: 310 mg
Serotonin development is just one of the hundreds of roles this mineral plays to maintain and protect overall health. Without magnesium, you may become prone to stress, apathy, fatigue, confusion and irritability. Getting enough magnesium from sources like almonds, cashews, peanuts and spinach will help regulate your emotions and balance your mood.
RDI: No established RDI
This essential fatty acid contributes to brain health. Since your body doesn’t produce it naturally, you must get it from foods and supplements on a regular basis. Consumption of food rich in omega-3, such as herring, salmon, and spinach, can help prevent fatigue, mood swings, memory impairment and depression.
RDI: 1.3 mg
Consuming this vitamin aids your brain function. It helps produce neurotransmitters, strengthens your immune system, and prevents depression. You can find vitamin B6 in salmon, chicken breast, fortified breakfast cereals and many other sources.
RDI: 400 mcg
Also known as folate or folic acid, this vitamin aids the creation of new cells and promotes the healthy regulation of serotonin. Folate deficiency can cause fatigue and lower serotonin levels.
Getting enough folate from foods like asparagus, avocado, Brussels sprouts and spinach can boost the efficiency of antidepressant medication. It also works hand-in-hand with vitamin B12 to fight depression.
RDI: 2.4 mcg
This element is essential to red blood cell and nerve creation. Low levels of B12 can reduce your energy levels, hamper your reasoning abilities, and may contribute to depression. Getting enough of this vitamin from meat, fish and dairy products will help your body synthesize important nutrients and promote healthy neurological function.
RDI: 600 IU (15 mcg)
The immune system greatly depends on vitamin D, which helps regulate the growth of cells and prevents depressive episodes. You can ward off negative thoughts by getting enough vitamin D from daily sunlight exposure and edible sources like milk, salmon and swordfish.
RDI: 11 mg
Zinc is an essential mineral that can be found in almost all cells. It plays a crucial role in promoting a healthy immune system and protects you from certain ailments. Consuming enough levels of zinc can decrease symptoms of depression, improve the efficiency of antidepressants and minimise their side effects. Load up on zinc by eating foods like cashews, pork loin, and Swiss cheese.
If you’re feeling a bit down and need a good boost, look no further than foods containing these essential nutrients.