These foods, habits, and supplements can improve your mood, help you sleep, and help you recover
The last few years have taken a toll on so many people and their energy – physically, emotionally and mentally. We suffer from emotional stress, anxiety, anger, unexpected lifestyle adjustments, feelings of insecurity, loss and loss of control – you can probably add your own items to the list.
For many people it is time to take stock, adjust to a new normal and work to restore and revitalize our energy and health. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to incorporate more exercise into your life, and that takes energy and the will (mood) to make it happen.
Food, mood and energy
Food is fuel, and your food choices are critical to your mood, energy levels, and energy expenditure. In fact, if you make smart eating habits and choices, you can better control your mood. Here are some ways to do just that.
Eat regularly to maintain stable blood sugar levels: Foods that release energy slowly (such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and grains) can help balance mood and energy levels. A drop in blood sugar levels can lead to irritability, depression and fatigue.
Avoid foods that cause mood and energy swings: This includes candy, alcohol, soda, and other sugary foods.
Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day: They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, and provide fiber and water for energy.
Grab the green: Dark leafy greens, wheatgrass, spirulina and seaweed are super-packed with energizing nutrients.
Eat enough protein: Everyone’s protein needs are different, and you can use an online protein needs calculator to get an estimate of your needs. Add protein to every meal for sustained energy and a balanced mood.
monitor caffeine consumption. Although caffeine can give you an energy boost, it can also make you feel depressed, anxious, and have trouble sleeping.
drink enough. Insufficient water intake can lead to fatigue, irritability, constipation and dizziness.
Enjoy healthy fats. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats are a huge plus for energy and mood. Oily fish, walnuts, almonds, avocados, eggs, and seeds (especially pumpkin, chia, flax, and hemp) are recommended. Strictly limit saturated fats and avoid trans fats.
Simple activities to add to your daily life
Do you want to easily increase your daily physical activity for better sleep, mood and energy? There are dozens of ways to incorporate extra exercise into your routine with little effort. Your body will love you for it!
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs whenever possible.
- Park further away from your destination.
- Take breaks from stretching and exercise throughout the day.
- Take short walks before breakfast and at lunch.
- Exercise while watching TV or movies.
- Stretch before you get out of bed.
How exercise boosts mood and sleep
Research shows that physical activity improves mood and helps you fall asleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, people who exercise regularly (particularly moderate aerobic exercise) are less likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems, and also experience relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Exercise helps with mood and sleep by releasing endorphins, which are happy hormones. It also alters core body temperature. When you exercise, your core body temperature rises and then falls again. Your body temperature also drops in the evening, so the resemblance can lead your brain to think it’s ready for sleep.
Recovery from activity-delayed inflammation
Sometimes when we train too hard or engage muscles that we haven’t trained much in the past, we experience inflammation and pain. At the cellular level, research shows that cells called neutrophils become activated and move to the trained area, causing inflammation and damage. One way to recover from activity-delayed inflammation is to focus on certain foods. These include:
- bananas provide natural sugars and an insulin boost to send protein to the muscle fibers. They also have potassium, which helps muscle damage.
- eggsa source of leucine that aids in muscle recovery.
- Salmon is known for the healthy fat omega-3, which fights inflammation.
- sour cherry juicewhich can help heal muscle damage.
- turmerica delicious spice known for its anti-inflammatory powers.
- watermelon is a source of L-citrulline, which reduces pain.
Adopting the best diet and lifestyle habits can go a long way toward maintaining energy, mood, and good sleep. But sometimes you need help from your friends – natural, quality supplements – because life is full of challenges that block your best efforts when it comes to eating well.
Take egg white for example. You may not always get the amount you need, especially if you have intensified your workout. This is a time when protein supplementation can help. You will find many protein powders on the market, but if you want a plant-based protein powder that doesn’t cause gas or bloating, then choose a fermented protein powder. The fermentation releases the nutrients for optimal absorption.
Once you’ve got your workout routine going, you need to take care of your joints and related body parts. A natural protein called collagen is a smart choice for this task. Sore knees, strained hips, and stressed elbows can all benefit from collagen supplements. Collagen supplements can help you reduce activity-related joint aches and pains, and repair and build ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints, and cartilage. Joint health can also benefit greatly from a joint supplement made with natural eggshell membranes, bromelain, and avocado extract, which also fights inflammation.
To improve mood and focus, include more omega-3 essential fats in your life. Because many people don’t eat much oilfish (if at all), omega-3 fish oil supplementation is highly recommended. These healthy fats help with mood, brain health, memory, focus, and concentration. Other foods and supplements that help with mood and mental fatigue include lion’s mane mushroom, L-theanine, ginseng, and green tea. Reduced mental fatigue can also help with sleep problems.
If you want to improve your energy levels and lift your mood, then it’s time to turn to diet and exercise changes. Adding supplements can further help you achieve your personal goals.