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Mood boosting foods: Nutritionist's advice

Mood boosting foods: Nutritionist's advice Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Constant stress and a bad mood can arise from improper nutrition. Many believe that one should eat something sweet, especially chocolate, to feel better. But that's not entirely true, according to nutritionist Vira Kuryn.

Causes of bad mood

The reason for such a state is nutrition. A person's diet may be lacking in products that contain tryptophan.

Tryptophan or L Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids for the human body. It is not produced by the body itself.

The main functions of tryptophan include:

  • Promotes natural healthy sleep by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep without disrupting its structure and duration.
  • Reduces sensitivity to pain.
  • Alleviates PMS symptoms.
  • Relieves tension and calms you down, removes aggression, improves mood.
  • Normalizes appetite and reduces hunger.
  • Increases concentration.
  • Helps prevent headaches and migraines.
  • Excellent assistant in combating hyperactivity in children, stress, and excess weight.

Mechanism of action of tryptophan

Entering the body through the digestive tract, tryptophan in liver cells, under the influence of folic acid, vitamin C, and magnesium, transforms into 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) - the active form of tryptophan, which easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier. Only after this does it transform into serotonin - the hormone of happiness and joy.

The nutritionist says that in the evening, during the dark time of day, serotonin transforms into melatonin (sleep hormone). This means that if serotonin is not synthesized enough during the day, then there will be a shortage of melatonin in the evening, which will affect the quality of sleep.

The most tryptophan-rich foods include: meat, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, sesame seeds, cheese, dried dates, vegetables, fruits, and berries.

However, a healthy gut and the presence of synergists (B6, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, and zinc) are important factors for the proper conversion of tryptophan, so that should be taken care of as well.