Emotional Wellness refers to the ability to manage, express and accept your feelings, cope with problems and solving them.
A person who is emotionally well is able to express his or her emotions freely, accepts a wide range of feelings in himself/herself and others, and feels positive about life.
He or she is able to live and work independently and when in need, will seek and appreciate the support of others. Along with a realistic assessment of one’s limitations, he or she possesses the ability to cope effectively with stress.
But, it was not until the medieval ages that food was considered a tool to modify temperament and mood, although scientific methods as we know them today were not in use at that time.
However, many people have been conditioned to think that “comfort” foods are bad for the body and should be avoided. This would be true if your comfort food is basically candy or other junk foods. Other times, comfort foods can be totally nourishing and it is good for you to consume them.
There are indeed some foods that, when you consume them, may better your mood. Try a few of these mood boosting foods:
- Chilli - Chilli adds a little spice to your life! Chilli peppers contain capsaicin, which alleviates the feeling of pain and encourage the release of endorphins, our body’s natural “happy “ pills.
- Poultry - Poultry is a great food to help elevate your mood. These foods have high levels of tyrosine, which can help boost your level of energy, and help your body cope with the effects of stress as well.
- Salmon and Tuna - Both of these fish have a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids and essential oils. These fats are used by the brain to produce neurotransmitters which help keep depression at bay, and lowers the levels of stress hormones. The higher the level of Omega-3, the higher your level of happiness hormone serotonin.
- Chocolate - Chocolate is a food that acts as a mood booster because of the phenylethylamine it contains. Phenylethylamine stimulates the brain to produce serotonin, which is closely linked with mood and is a naturally occurring chemical that acts like an antidepressant in the brain.
- Whole grain bread - Whole grain bread contains many essential amino acids, which are the building blocks and messengers for your brain. Without the proper amino acids in your diet the body cannot make the neurotransmitters which are responsible for mood. Whole grain bread contains a wide variety of the amino acids that are needed to keep your mood elevated and upbeat.
- Oatmeal - Oatmeal is a mood booster for a number of different reasons. This cereal contains a lot of soluble fibre, and this will lower blood sugar levels and keep them down. This has the effect of reducing irritability and hunger. Oatmeal takes a while to empty from your stomach, and gives you the energy needed to get through the day without feeling tired or lethargic.
- Bananas - Bananas are a terrific food to add to your diet if you want to elevate your mood. Eating a banana, which is high in Magnesium content, can keep you feeling good.
- Shellfish and seafood - Seafood and shellfish are mood boosters for a number of reasons, and one of the biggest is the amount of Selenium that these foods provide. Selenium is responsible for the happiness that you feel, and can help you reduce anxiety and give you more energy. Stress can cause harmful hormone levels in your body, and Selenium helps counteract these.
- Milk - Milk is a great feel-good food, because of the calcium and tryptophan that it gives your diet. Calcium can help reduce your levels of stress and anxiety, and tryptophan helps your body produce serotonin which helps elevate your mood.
- Spinach - Research has found another reason to eat your spinach – it has high levels of folic acid and magnesium, and both of these nutrients are linked to mood. One serving fulfils 40% of your daily needs of magnesium, which prevents migraine headaches and feelings of weariness.