Walnuts - Winner #1
These wonderful little nuts are a rich source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which have been shown to boost brain function and reduce symptoms of depression. The human brain is approximately 80% lipids (fats), and eating more good fats helps brain-functioning.
Sugar - Looser #1
While it's true that sugar will give you an instant energy boost, that boost doesn't last very long. Once it's gone, your blood glucose levels go downhill rapidly, making you crave even more refined sugar and messing with your mood as well as the quality of your sleep.
Dark Chocolate - Winner #2
Here’s just what you need. A good excuse to eat chocolate! Not only does dark chocolate have that melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness, chocolate with a cocoa content higher than 60% is full of a feel-good chemical called phenylethylamine.
Aspartame - Looser #2
Aspartame has been linked to headache, dizziness, and even diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, ADHD, and birth defects. Its use can also lead to insomnia and mood swings, because it blocks serotonin production.
Brazil nuts - Winner #3
Brazil nuts are high in selenium. Low selenium levels have been found to dramatically increase levels of depression and anxiety. There’s a third of a woman’s RDA of selenium in each brazil nut, so what are you waiting for? Nibble brazil nuts for a happy, healthy snack.
Refined Carbs - Looser #3
Too many of us rely on refined and processed carbohydrates like pasta. white bread, and cereal way too much. Like sugar, this type of carb will give you a quick boost before sending you into a downward spiral of grumpiness and fatigue. Choose complex carbs instead.
Mushrooms - Winner #4
Mushrooms are great little mood-boosters for two reasons. First: they even out your mood by keeping your blood sugars stable. Second: they promote healthy gut bacteria. Our guts manufacture up to 90% of our body’s serotonin (that happy, mood-boosting chemical), so that’s an area of the body you need to look after.
Trans & Saturated Fats - Looser #4
Saturated fats like those found in fried foods and fast food can actually reduce blood flow to the brain. Anything that contains trans fat can increase your risk of depression, especially when consumed in large quantities.
Chillies - Winner #5
It may be hot on the tongue, but eating chilies triggers the release of those feel-good endorphins in the brain. So chop up some fresh chilies in your pasta to give your meal, and your mood, a kick.
Salt - Looser #5
Humans naturally crave salt. but too much is not good for us. It's not just the kidneys that are affected; excess salt can contribute to depression and, again, cause tiredness — because too much salt weakens your immune system.
Sardines - Winner #6
Sardines are packed full of potassium, iron and complex B vitamins, which have all been shown to maintain healthy brain chemistry. They are also chockfull of Omega-3 Fatty-Acids, which are vital for brain-health and beating depression. Low fat content in the diet has been linked to a higher risk of suicide.
Caffeine - Looser #6
All coffee lovers will know that too much of the stuff can seriously disrupt the sleep-wake cycle. If you're used to overdoing caffeine, whether in the form of coffee, soda, or energy drinks, you may not realize that caffeine also makes you irritated and nervous. Don't consume more than 400 mg a day.
Bananas - Winner #7
Bananas are full of healthy carbohydrates, which are needed to balance your blood sugar in a healthy way, and keep your mood on an even keel. They are also full of Vitamin B6. Low levels of B6 have been found to exacerbate depression in women with pre-menstrual syndrome.
Alcohol - Looser #7
Think booze makes you feel better? Think again: alcohol depresses the central nervous system. It impairs clear thinking and motor skills, but also amplifies preexisting emotions, making those already feeling down even more depressed.