Mood boosting foods
Fresh fruits and vegetables help in enhancing your mood and keeping depression away. [Representational image]Reuters

There are times when you tend to feel low and depressed for no reason. The lives we lead and the lifestyle we follow leave us stressed and tired very often. The mood swings we experience vary from anxiety to irritation and there can be various reasons responsible for it -- from hormones in our body to conditions present around us to the lifestyle we follow.

Lack of sleep too plays a role in changing our mood, the lesser we sleep the crankier we tend to become. There are times we don't need anything but some good food which can pep our mood up and make us feel better. Researches done in the past even establish a link between our mood and food.

Carbohyderate-rich foods

It's believed that consuming foods like bread and whole grains, which are rich in carbohydrates, will make us fat. This is not true. Carbs are a good source of energy and help in enhancing our mood. A research was conducted by the Archives of Internal Medicine in which a group of people were given a very low-carb diet daily for a year. Another cohort was given a diet low on fats and high on carbohydrates. The researchers found that the group consuming low-carb diet was experiencing more depression in comparison to the other group. This led to researchers thinking that production of a compound called serotonin -- a feel good brain chemical -- is triggered on the intake of carb-rich diet, whereas having a strict low-carb diet for a year has a negative impact on the mood.

Coconut

Who could have thought coconut is a stress buster! According to a pilot study carried out by Columbia University, people were given coconut fragrance to inhale and it was found that those who breathed it after doing a challenging task experienced a speedy recovery of their blood pressure. This study revealed that stress can be lowered by inhaling pleasant smells, it also improves our alertness.

Dark chocolate

Enjoy bits of dark chocolates whenever you feel stressed and low. Dark chocolate is a stress buster, its moderate consumption for a span of two weeks is likely to lower the levels of stress hormones. It also aids in bettering the heart health and provide us with antioxidants in abundance. Make sure you consume only up to 1.4 ounces or 40 grams of chocolate in order to enjoy its benefits. Excess chocolate consumption will lead to health problems such as rise in blood sugar levels, obesity, etc.

Whole foods, veggies and fruits

Eating healthy food helps in keeping depression away. Make sure you have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies as they help in reducing depression in contrast to unhealthy and fast food items. Try including as many whole foods or less processed foods in your diet as you can. A study conducted by the British Journal of Psychiatry, which included 3,500 men and women, revealed that people who followed a diet comprising of healthy food the previous year experienced lesser depression than those who had more of fried, processed, sugary and fat-rich diet.

Saffron

This mood changing spice has anti-depressant properties. A study was conducted on 50 women in Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. These women had PMS, 8 percent of them were given two placebo capsules and the rest were given two saffron capsules of 15 mg everyday, over a span of two months (two periodic cycles). The symptoms of these women were noted in diaries. By the end of the study, the women who consumed saffron stated that they experienced their PMS symptoms such as depression and mood swings had reduced by half in contrast to the women who had the placebo effect capsules.

Fish

Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is known as a great mood enhancer. This nutrient is not produced by our body and it impacts the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in our brain. Fish is the healthiest meat one can have, fatty fishes like tuna, salmon, rainbow trout and sardines are considered to have more levels of the mood bettering Omega-3s.