Mood Boosting Vegan Foods (+ 1 Week Challenge)!
Did you know the late winter months, specifically January and Feb have incredibly high amounts of people that are feeling depressed or suicidal?
While I’m not going to go into talking about the latter, I’m sure many of you have or are experiencing some form of seasonal depression, unproductivity, sadness and demotivation, or you’re simply done feeling depressed over short, cold and gloomy days.
Tell me what you’re feeling!! I’ve been feeling a lot of the blues, to be honest. Yuck!
Now, I know food can be suuuuucchh a great comforting friend to you; but I wanted to share with you a reality check on what foods to eat that’ll actually help:
- Boost your mood
- Boost your productivity
- Boost your motivation!
And guess what? They’re all going to be G-double O-D!
Besides, plant-based foods have several amino acids and vitamins that can make us feel happier by boosting our levels of feel-good hormones. Here are some evidence based foods (vegan) you can eat, that will boost your mood! Plus, find details at the bottom to join our suuper fun 1 week vegan mood-boosting foods challenge!
Oh, and you’re probably eating some of these already.
1. Bananas and Berries
Bananas are an energy boosting food, high in vitamin B6- an important B vitamin for creating positivity. The healthy carbs and sugars in them also help with producing serotonin, are high in potassium that help fuel your brain and contain lots of magnesium (shown to improve sleep and reduce anxiety).
Other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries can help prevent the release of cortisol, which releases stressful and emotional responses. Being high in antioxidants, it also boosts brain function, brain, and nervous system health.
Avocados are packed with vitamin B, which help promote white blood cell production to help fight infections. Avocados are also anti-inflammatory and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies can’t produce on their own (interesting fact hey?!). Having omega-3 rich foods like nuts and seeds as well (see 3) help alleviate anxiety and depression.
Investing in vitamin B supplements definitely help if you feel like you’re not getting enough. I use these supplements that have vitamin B12: Pranin Organics Multivitamin A-Z powder and Now Iron Capsules.
3. Nuts and Seed
Eating a handful of nuts and seeds also helps boost your mood and energy levels as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats and antioxidants. Flaxseed, hemp, walnut oils (and seeds) along with chia seeds are all rich sources of omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies have proven that eating nuts and seeds can reduce depression and its symptoms since they’re full of serotonin (feel good chemical) that you don’t have much of when you’re depressed.
Leafy greens contain vitamin C among many other important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and is high in antioxidants, which can make you feel more energetic. Consuming greens such as spinach, kale, parsley, and broccoli contribute to better energy levels and mental well being as they also promote the removal of toxins in the body that can build up as a natural byproduct of daily life.
Like vegetables, sea greens also improve your mood and increase energy levels, as they contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid for the brain’s serotonin creation. Many of these sea greens that you probably know, like kelp, seaweed, and spirulina are nutritional powerhouses and help increase positivity. They’ve been popular in regions of Japan since they promote longevity and extreme health. I have my daily dose of sea and land greens in Ergogenics Whole Greens powder (and Plant Protein +Greens). PS- Sign up to their newsletter for discounts and deals!
Beans are incredibly delicious and packed with iron that supports energy levels and aids muscle strength. They also boost brain functioning and immunity. Having a variety of beans, chickpeas and lentils reduce the feeling of fatigue and depression during the colder months. Additionally, beans are filled with phytonutrients that help prevent diseases and contain folate (helps create serotonin) and fiber. Other foods that are good sources of iron and other vitamins and minerals are dried apricots, dark chocolate (yayy) and leafy greens.
Carbs (healthier carbs) can boost your mood because of the production of serotonin. It also gives you sustained energy compared to simple and processed carbs like white bread, simple and sugary baked goods, soda etc that will cause your insulin levels to spike and then crash quickly which causes anxiety, irritation, hyperactivity and stress. Choosing whole grains and complex carbohydrates like sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, beans and legumes will prevent these energy crashes and provide you with quality nutrients at the same time.
Coconuts have a multitude of benefits. For one, coconut meat is a rich source of protein and fiber that energizes the body and reduces fatigue. About 92% of coconut oil is made of saturated fatty acids, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.
The healthy fats in coconut also aid in proper functioning of the immune and nervous system. Coconut oil additionally, increases your metabolism, as it is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) so it’s easily absorbed by the intestinal tract and goes directly to the liver to be converted into energy. This helps with relieving fatigue, weakness, exhaustion and tiredness. Coconut water and milk are also great sources of electrolytes (magnesium and potassium) and are a great food for your brain and digestion.
During colder months there’s barely enough exposure to the sun. This causes us to feel relatively sluggish, tired faster, more sleepy and so on. Vitamin D is positively associated with an increase in immunity as well as lower depressive symptoms. Having plant-based foods fortified with vitamin D, like soy, almond, hemp, and rice milk tend to improve vitamin D levels in your body. Also, investing in a plant-based brand of vitamin D3 will also help add more of this sunshine vitamin into your system. Check out Herbaland Gummy Vitamins and use code “phruitfuldish” to take 20% off at checkout. :)
11.Dark Chocolate (YASSSS)
Dark chocolate is very popularly known to boost your mood as it contains high levels of antioxidants. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day (about 1 ounce, not one pound) can reduce cortisol levels (lowers stress). Mind you, eat chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa will raise your dopamine levels, making you feel in a happier and focused mood.
Don’t these foods already make you feel happier? Eating foods rich in all these ingredients will have a great impact on your mood, energy levels and focus.
PS- I've partnered with a blogger friend, Dylan to give you MORE mood-boosting spices (and recipes). Check the rest by Dylan here.
We’re also doing a
1 WEEK MOOD BOOSTING VEGAN FOODS CHALLENGE
(Feb 13 - 19)
to see how much BETTER YOU FEEL after eating nutrient dense, delicious mood boosting foods! I've been eating a lot of these ingredients (a lot more consciously) and I cannot express in words how I feel. To keep it short, I feel elevated, quite a bit more focused and a lot more like my usual bubbly self that I wasn't 2 months ago.
SIGN UP BELOW (waay down or in the banner on top)- to feel aaah-maaazing! This is what you will get:
- 1 WEEK MEAL GUIDE + Extras with the above delicious recipes ideas.
- Grocery List for the meal plan.
- You DON’T have to follow our meal plan.
- Use our blog articles and FUN RECIPES as a GUIDELINE!
- Social Media Support & Community @thewritereats @phruitfuldish
- Daily Tips on Food/Drinks/Motivatinal Inspo @thewritereats
To help you keep your mood and energy levels boosted throughout!!
Are you Ready?? Share with a friend you'd want to do the challenge with, and many others to feel healthier, happier and more elevated!