Lab Therapist

Article ● Good Food Good Mood

by Joana Teixeira on Apr 16, 2021

Artigo  ●  Boa Alimentação Boa Disposição

What we eat has a big influence on our well-being. At a time when anxiety peaks, we leave here 5 foods that contribute to a good mood:

- Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel - due to their high anti-inflammatory omega-3 content, B vitamins, vitamin D and choline, essential for a healthy nervous system.
- Seeds and oilseeds such as almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, rich in magnesium, B vitamins and tryptophan.
- Lentils - rich in fiber that helps regulate blood glucose, proteins, folate and vitamin B6, associated with the production of serotonin.
- Cocoa - rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, magnesium that helps with relaxation and also known for its ability to stimulate the production of endorphins.
- Ashwagandha - this potent adaptogen known for its ability to help manage stress and participate in reducing anxiety and depression.

It is important to mention on this topic that, when we talk about diet and mood, we must think about variables such as blood glucose (blood sugar level), hydration status, and the production of serotonin - the neurotransmitter associated with good mood and that it acts at the level of the nervous system.

Keeping blood glucose levels balanced and avoiding large spikes and consequent large drops in blood sugar levels is essential to avoid the well-known irritability associated with hunger. This is done by avoiding long periods without eating, and consuming small, moderate portions of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, pulses, fruits) throughout the day.
A good state of hydration guarantees us better general well-being, better capacity for concentration and attention.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced mainly in the intestine. Its correct production depends on the adequate intake of nutrients such as tryptophan (present in meat and fish, soy, pumpkin seeds) and a healthy and balanced intestinal microbiota.
So, to maintain a balanced life and in a good mood, there's nothing like having the right plants at home and the right food in the pantry!

Article written by Joana Teixeira, founder of The Therapist in partnership with
Sumeya Osman, Functional Nutritionist, 2741N - Order of Nutritionists.