Wellness Club — Summer Foods for a Good Mood

Wellness Club — Summer Foods for a Good Mood
Abingdon, VA. - Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

written by Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

Nutrition plays a huge role in physical health, but it can also affect your mental edge and overall mood.

Protein: Salmon
Oily fish, such as salmon, is great for brain health because it is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which make up about 60% of the brain’s structure. Proteins in general can support a good mood because they help our bodies make a brain chemical that regulates mood called serotonin. Salmon is easy to prepare! Drizzle or rub with olive oil and sprinkle with spices, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven or wrap in a foil packet with vegetables to throw on the grill at a summer cookout.

Dairy: Lowfat Milk & Yogurt
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found almost solely in dairy products, like milk and yogurt. Vitamin D is not only crucial to build strong bones, but to support mental health and reduce the risk of developing depression as well. Sun exposure on the skin for 10 minutes each day can help your body activate vitamin D. So grab a cold glass of milk or a  cup of yogurt and get outside to soak up the sun!

Starch: Whole Grains and Starchy Vegetables
Carbohydrates or starches are the body’s primary energy source. Starch is broken down into glucose, or sugar, which is the preferable nutrient that can pass the blood-brain barrier to feed the brain. Carbohydrates include whole grains, cereals, and pastas but also starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and peas. These starches are high in fiber and other nutrients that give us energy and help our bodies make hormones that influence emotions to keep us happy.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables offer lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Many fruits and vegetables like strawberries and red bell peppers are high in vitamin C which help support the immune system and protect from seasonal illnesses which often have a negative effect on mood. Plus, produce adds color to your plate making meals appetizing and mood-boosting!

Put these “brain foods” on your plate to keep you feeling healthy and happy this summer!