Need a bit of a boost? Would you like an extra pep in your step? Look no further than your cabinets, refrigerator and grocery store shelves. According to Greatist, certain nutrients can help improve our mood and decrease stress. What are they, you may ask? These 9 Plant-Based Foods Have Nutrients That Can Boost Your Mood from our Food Monster App.
Nutrition, while important for good health, should not be considered as a substitute for proper mental health or medical treatment.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for improving our mood, and while many people think fish are the only way to get them, chia seeds are actually a good source of omega-3s as well. Chia seeds are also high in protein and fiber, making them even healthier. Try this healthy Chia Ginger Fresca, which has nausea-easing properties from the ginger and lemon, lots of immune-boosting vitamin C and tons of digestion-enhancing fiber from the chia seeds.
Vitamin B12 helps promote blood-cell formation, a healthy nervous system, and has also been found to be a natural mood-booster, according to The Cut. While plant-based vitamin B12 can be tricky to find naturally, fortified foods like soy milk, tofu, non-dairy yogurts, and nutritional yeast can be helpful for getting the B12 you need as a vegan. Just be sure to check the labels to see how much B12 the product contains.
Try this Creamy Butternut Mac and Cheese, which is perfect for dinner.
Use your fortified nutritional yeast to add a “cheesy” flavor to this Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells With Cashew Alfredo! It’s topped with herbs, this dish is elegant, satisfying, and surprisingly easy to make.
Bananas are a great plant-based source of vitamin B6, and the healthy carbs in bananas will help you absorb the tryptophan they contain before converting it into serotonin, according to Caring.com. So, opt for this Mango Sorbet With Banana and Pineapple.
These Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks are another great way to incorporate bananas into your everyday meals! Then this is mixed with oats, which results in an amazingly healthy sweet, soft and chewy satisfying snack or breakfast on-the-go!
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, promotes cell growth and division as well as helping your body form red blood cells. A deficiency in folate has been linked to depression, according to Psychology Today. This Chickpea and Edamame Quinoa adds an assortment of vibrant color and different textures.
This Edamame Seaweed Salad can be served as a light lunch or a side with dinner and is another delicious lunch option for a boost.
According to a study from Lund University in Sweden, a diet rich in fiber can help improve a person’s mood, as well as their memory and ability to concentrate. Barely is a fantastic source of fiber. Try this Macrobiotic Pearled Barley Ojiya: Japanese Breakfast Porridge.
While you can get vitamin D just from being exposed to sunlight, sometimes that isn’t an option, especially in the winter months. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that affects everything from the immune system to the brain, according to Psychology Today. A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to depression in a number of studies. Mushrooms are a good vegan source of vitamin D! Try this Mushroom Stroganoff.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in producing serotonin. It can help convert tryptophan into serotonin, according to Livestrong. Magnesium also helps with the production of proteins and helps muscles and enzymes to function. Hemp seeds are a rich source of magnesium. Try these Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars.
Tyrosine is an amino acid found in sesame seeds that can help increase the brain’s levels of dopamine, according to Dr. Axe. According to WebMD, Tyrosine has been used to promote learning and memory during times of stress. Use sesame seeds in this Sesame Tofu.
Make this Raw Nut-Free Sesame Cheese for some more added sesame! This is an absolute must-try on crackers.
Zinc is a mineral that has a role in how the brain responds to stress, Psychology Today reports. A deficiency in zinc has been linked with depression, seizures, and ADHD symptoms. There are a number of vegan options for getting zinc, one of which are oats, which are also rich in fiber. This Savory Mushroom Oats is a great source.
For more oat recipes, try this Turmeric Ginger Oatmeal for breakfast! This quick and easy recipe is a nourishing way to start your day.
If you enjoy vegan recipes like this, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App, it’s available for both Android and iPhone and has free and paid versions. The app is loaded with thousands of allergy-friendly & vegan recipes/cooking tips, has hundreds of search filters and features like bookmarking, meal plans and more!
Lead image source: Edamame Seaweed Salad