pOV: It’s Wednesday, work is tough and you feel like you can’t take a break. Of course, that means time for a little mental reset moment — deep breaths, powerwalk, and (most importantly) snack time included.
While we’ll never underestimate the power of a hearty afternoon nosh to give us a little extra kick in our stride, research has shown that there are certain foods that contain compounds, such as tryptophan, which can increase serotonin levels† or gut-balancing probiotics, which are: linked to lower levels of stress and anxiety— which have been shown to have a positive influence on your mood† Polyphenols are one such compound.
Before we jump in, a quick caveat that should: hopefully come as no surprise: there is no food group or ingredient that will change your whole day or make you feel like you’re walking on sunshine. (I mean, penne alla vodka comes pretty close, but still.) “We don’t believe that a single food will boost your mood, but rather that a well-rounded diet based on whole foods that provides a wide variety of nutrients is your best choice,” Jessica BeacomRDN, previously told Well+Good†
However, science has shown that polyphenol-rich foods—including chocolate and coffee (God bless) — have been linked to boosting your mood and lowering anxiety and depression, internal medicine doctor says Austin Perlmutter, MD. Here we spoke with Dr. Perlmutter to get the inside scoop on exactly which polyphenol-rich foods have the stated benefits.
How Polyphenols Can Affect Your Mood
First things first: what exactly are polyphenols?
“Polyphenols are plant compounds made up of a large and diverse group of molecules that help protect plants from stress, and research has shown that when people eat them, they have health benefits,” says Dr. Perlmutter. He also notes that scientific studies have confirmed a clear link between diet, mood and better mental health. For example, a 2018 study analysis of polyphenol intake and its effects on depression showed that those who ate more quercetin—a plant flavonol from the flavonoid group of polyphenols found in foods such as fruits and grains had reduced depressive symptoms.
Obviously, we’re all asking the same thing: What’s an easy way to incorporate these foods into my diet to reap these health benefits? “Great ways to prioritize polyphenol-rich foods include adding lots of colorful fruits and vegetables to your meals every day, using herbs and spices in cooking, drinking tea and coffee—decaffeinated or herbal if you prefer. have problems with caffeine — and just stop low-polyphenol foods for polyphenol-rich options,” says Dr. Perlmutter.
5 Polyphenol-Rich Foods That Can Boost Your Mood
“Per ounce, spices are among the best polyphenol-rich foods on the planet,” says Dr. Perlmutter. Talk about a mic drop. One of his favorite go-tos is turmeric, also known for its superior anti-inflammatory properties† “Turmeric stands out mainly because it is the dietary source of curcumin, an orange polyphenol that gives turmeric its signature color,” he says. “A number of studies have looked at curcumin’s role in brain and mental health, and some proof suggests it could be effective because of its action on certain brain pathways in depression.”
If turmeric isn’t quite your jam, Dr. Perlmutter also warm and sweet on clovewhich to the richest sources of polyphenols of any food per ounce, and ideal for adding to your favorite dessert (or tea) recipe.
Here’s what a dietitian has to say about the many benefits of turmeric:
2. Dark Chocolate
We have good news for you, fam. Chocolate – more specifically dark chocolate – has proudly made the cut on Dr.’s list of “high polyphenolic foods”. Perlmutter. “Cocoa beans, which are used to make chocolate, are mainly rich in polyphenols,” he says.
However, the doctor cautions that not all chocolate is created equal in terms of its mood-boosting benefits. “Dark chocolate — which uses more cocoa than milk or white chocolate — is generally richer in polyphenols because it has a higher cocoa content. And unfortunately, if you eat chocolate with a lot of added sugars, you’re probably offsetting any potential health benefit,” says Dr. . Perlmutter. To get the most out of your bar, he recommends dark chocolate with more than 70 percent cocoa and minimal added sugars.
According to Dr. Perlmutter, coffee is one of the main sources of polyphenols in our diet today. †studies show that green or light roast coffee has the highest polyphenol concentration,” he says. He also encourages people to be moderate with added sugars when consuming this energy-boosting drink, which again can negate its health benefits.
Another polyphenol-rich drink that Dr. Perlmutter recommends is tea. Research suggests that green tea, in particular, may contain higher concentrations of polyphenols than other teas, especially herbal varieties that amino acid L-theanine† Aside from tea’s happiness-boosting properties, it’s also packed with other healthy antioxidants that can help promote bone health as you get older.
“While it’s great to add extra servings of polyphenolic foods to your diet, don’t forget that grains are the main source of calories for most people,” emphasizes Dr. Perlmutter. “Usually, these grains are heavily refined, so they’ve lost most of their polyphenols and other healthy nutrients.” To avoid such loss, Dr. Perlmutter to swap all-purpose flour for buckwheat flour — he says he especially likes Himalayan Tartar Buckwheat-because it is so rich in polyphenols, as well as protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins.
#polyphenolrich #foods #scientifically #linked #happiness #GoodGood