Superfoods are more than just richer in nutrients that are beneficial for well-being and health. They play an important role to fight diseases and eradicate body and hormonal imbalance caused by unhealthy diets, eating disorders and stress.
Too many of us become plagued by work, family, peer and lifestyle pressures. When we get stressed, we eat. When we are busy, we eat faster and digest poorly, leading to further discomfort and even moodiness.
Fret no more as anyone can overcome these easily by consuming the right superfoods! Here are the ones top on our list! Why? Because they are easily accessible and affordable – so that you can incorporate them into your daily dietary habits!
Dark chocolate/Pure organic cacao
Yes, you see in the supermarkets! We like the ones that contain at least 70% cacao or better still, get pure, organic cacao powder as these do not contain any sugar or additives.
Chocolate is packed with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, chromium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus and even Vitamin C. Importantly, it contains a high amount of tryptophan, a powerful mood-booster that produces serotonin to diminish depression and lift up the mood.
Coconut (water and flesh)
Easily available, especially in Asia, coconut is a natural elixir for health. Best is to enjoy it fresh! Get a whole coconut, enjoy the refreshing coconut water inside a young coconut.
It is a natural electrolyte-rich isotonic drink that is also abundant with potassium, is ideal for proper rehydration and has strong antiviral properties. Coconut apparently contains two key ingredients that are linked to mood enhancement.
These are medium-chain-triglycerides and lauric acid, which help to enhance brain health and detox the liver. If the liver is over-worked, it is easy to feel moody and sluggish. If you can’t get fresh coconut, you can also try to add extra virgin coconut oil to your cooking or apply moisturising coconut butter on your skin. You’d love the therapeutic scent and wonders that it does to your body!
Apples contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that boosts brain neurotransmitters, reduces inflammation and is linked to reducing anxiety and stress.
The pectin fibre in apples balances insulin levels in the body to prevent erratic moodiness. An apple a day is surely more than just a healthy lifestyle habit, it’s great to keep you happy too!
Lycopene is an antioxidant that is easily found in tomatoes. It helps to fight depression -causing inflammation. Japanese and Chinese studies have shown that the lycopene in tomato skins absorbed into the body promote a sense of happiness and good vibes.
The essential amino acid tryptophan is found in yoghurt. This helps to improve serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a form of a happy hormone, which promotes a sense of well-being and happiness in the brain. It also contains the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus casei, which helps to calm the nerves and decrease the feeling of anxiety.
Containing vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan which are great mood-boosters, walnuts are also rich in vitamin B9 (folate).
Folate deficiency is linked to depression while omega-3 deficiency may result in aggressive behaviour. Research has also shown that the omega-3 fatty acids and zinc in walnuts can also ease anger symptoms.
Another great source of tryptophan is bananas. This is an easy way to relax and boost the mood. Bananas are also rich in magnesium and vitamin B6. These relieve depression and helps the body to relax.
The carbohydrate in bananas rapidly stimulates serotonin production which is happiness boosters. As a natural antidepressant, the properties of tryptophan, dopamine and high vitamin B6 levels are powerful anti-oxidants and mood boosters. The higher the vitamin B6 content, the faster tryptophan is converted into serotonin inside the brain.
The citrusy scent of oranges is naturally uplifting. Oranges are one of the most powerful natural anti-depressants due to their high content of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), complex sugars and folate.
The high levels of folate in oranges have been tested play an important role in transmethylation reactions to produce serotonin from tryptophan and dopamine from tyrosine. Its complex sugars are amazing mood-boosters that provide a quick infusion of energy to recover from fatigue and moodiness.
Oily fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
Omega-3 fatty acids which make up about 30% of the brain fat, help to improve the neurotransmitters in brain cells. These are the messaging chemicals that keep the brain cells active and flexible as omega-3 deficiency may make people more prone to depression. You can find high omega-3 content in oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and salmon.
Discover more about the world of superfood, health benefits and opportunities within the industry at Superfood Asia 2019. Coming you from 24th to 26th April 2019 in Singapore. See you soon!