You are what you eat


Margaux Miller

We have considered what foods can do to affect our performance on a daily basis, and have categorized foods to eat and not to eat before games, tests, or just because they are flat out bad for you.

But have we ever considered how what we eat affects our moods?

There is scientific evidence correlating junk food/fast food to increased risk of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and zinc all have links to depression and are found in most junk foods.

There is also scientific evidence correlating healthy and somewhat random foods to mood boosters. This list will explain and identify foods that boost your mood, why they boost your mood, and how important they are to incorporate into your diet.

Bananas: Bananas are full of potassium, but they also have tryptophan, a chemical that regulates mood. According to research by Ara DerMarderosian, bananas are also a good source of B vitamin folate which are linked to lower levels of depression.

Berries: Surprisingly, certain berries have valproic acid, a prescription mood stabilizing drug. According to Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies, Flavonoid anthocyanin is also found in berries which reduces inflammation.

Quinoa: Next time you go to Food Stuffs, be sure to load up the quinoa. Quercetin is found in quinoa and is shown to have an antidepressant effect, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Neuropharmacology.

Dark Chocolate: Thankfully, chocolate isn’t all bad! Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and reduces our stress hormone cortisol, according to a study in the Journal of Proteome Research.

Green Tea/Coffee: With winter months approaching, coffee and green tea are the move in regards to warm beverages . According to a Japanese study, psychological stress was lower in individuals who drank five or more cups of green tea per day. That is a lot of tea, but we could all use the stress relief. Similarly, coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of depression, according to JAMA International Medicine.

Apples: An apple away keeps the doctor away! Eating apples produces a calming effect, gives you more energy, and increases overall happiness, according to the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Spinach: This super leaf contains folic acid which alleviates depression and reduces fatigue, according to the Journal of Physiology.

Walnuts: Next time you have a big test, consider eating walnuts. The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA conducted a study and discovered that walnuts can improve brain function and contain plenty of healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Eggs: Need to memorize something for a test (we’ve all been there)? Eat some eggs! According to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eggs are high in choline which boosts memory- make sure to eat the yolk too!

All of these foods, among others, include crucial vitamins and minerals that heighten brain functioning and boost your mood. There are plenty of recipes and easy ways you can incorporate these foods into your diet.

You are what you eat, so make sure what you eat is fueling your body, and making you feel good too.