Most of us make food choices based on what will help build muscle, burn fat and/or boost energy for intense training sessions. But one often-overlooked aspect of nutrition is certain foods’ ability to improve mood and minimize the harmful effects of stress on the body, which is vital for those juggling a demanding job and family life along with intense regular workouts. Celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti recommends the following three foods to enhance mood as well as other important brain functions.
Tomatoes All varieties are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect fatty tissues in the brain and helps reduce inflammation linked to depression. Cooking tomatoes enhances lycopene content, so try making some homemade marinara sauce.
Greek Yogurt It’s packed with calcium, a mineral that essentially tells your body to release feel-good neurotransmitters. According to researchers, disturbances in calcium levels can cause stress, anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of concentration and memory loss.
AsparagusThis is one of the best plant-based sources of tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, a mood-boosting neurotransmitter. It’s also high in the B vitamin folate. Researchers have noted that more than 50 percent of people with depression suffer from low folate levels.
For more nutrition knowledge from Christine Avanti, visit christineavanti.com.