It has long been said that proper diet and exercise can enhance your mood, but how?
Let’s start with EXERCISE;
Exercise produces Serotonin
Serotonin is the feel-good chemical that regulates our mood. Just 30 minutes of Cardiovascular exercise per day stimulates blood flow to the brain and increases serotonin.
Exercise detoxifies the body
The lymph nodes are responsible for ridding the body of toxins and infections. When the lymphocytes are not flowing properly we are more susceptible to mood swings and infection. Movement and muscle contraction stimulates the circulation of the lymphatic system and cleanses the body of toxins.
Next let’s look at DIET;
The body and brain need certain nutrients to maintain balanced emotions.
- FATS Our brains are made up of 60% fat. We need healthy fats, specifically Omega 3’s to help nourish our brain. We can find Omega 3’s in nuts, seeds and oily fish.
- PROTEIN Adequate protein is needed to synthesize serotonin. Meat, fish, dairy and nuts are all excellent sources of protein.
- MINERALS Two important Minerals necessary to help balance mood are Zinc and Magnesium. Nuts, seeds and spinach are good sources of these two minerals.
- VITAMINS Vitamins play an important role in psychological body functions and aid in reducing anxiety and depression. Vitamin C and B vitamins; B2,B6,B12 and Folic Acid are all important vitamins needed to optimize mental health. Fish, eggs, nuts, whole grains and spinach are all excellent sources of these vitamins.
Combine any of the ingredients below to create a nutrient packed Happy Meal ?
Here are 2 Examples;
1. Spinach and salmon salad topped with nuts and seeds finished with fresh squeezed lemon juice
2. Oatmeal with walnuts, sesame seeds, strawberries and banana