A hard-boiled egg is very good for your brain. It contains more than 20% of your daily recommended dose of tryptophan. Additionally, it contains high amount of protein, Omega-3's, and vitamins B12, B2, B5 and D. Protein is very important for the conversion of tryptophan into the mood enhancing chemical, serotonin. Vitamin B12 helps heal the symptoms of depression and memory related problems.
Certain types of fish, specifically the ones containing healthy fats and oil, are natural mood enhancers. Examples of these include tuna, salmon, swordfish, trout, herring and mackerel. They contain two kinds of Omega-3 fatty acids, which include EPA and DHA. These two are used in the brain to improve and regulate nerve function and mood. In bipolar patients, it has been shown to alleviate a few symptoms like depression and manic episode induced by stress. They also help with low motivation.
Loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that's actually responsible for its rich red color, tomatoes can protect your cells from radical cell damage. Studies have shown that people who ate tomatoes 2-6 times per week were 46% less likely to experience any symptoms of depression, than those who reported eating them less than once a week.
Spinach is a very potent mood booster. It contains folic acid whose deficiency can cause depression, insomnia, psychosis, dementia and more. Magnesium in spinach can inhibit your hippocampus from releasing stress hormones. It can also help prevent these hormones from entering the blood brain barrier; and then there is zinc, which can alleviate mood lethargy, anxiety and depression.
Ever wondered why you feel so good after a nice bowl of lentil soup? Well, you can thank the folic acid for that. It keeps the depression-inducing chemicals at bay. By stimulating our nerves and keeping our chemical processes working properly, it makes sure that the happiness-inducing hormones like noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin are being produced efficiently.
Bananas are rich in vitamins A, C and B6, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, iron, phosphorous, tryptophan, and potassium, a mood lifting combination of nutrients. The tryptophan gets absorbed with the help of carbohydrates, and then, with assistance from vitamin B6, gets converted into the feel good hormone: serotonin. The potassium in them keeps you feeling energized by keeping the fluid levels balanced and the iron in them helps prevent lethargy.