The summertime is usually associated with feeling good, enjoying warm weather and outdoor activities, and relaxing. Summertime activities include BBQs, outdoor games, picnics, and walking. Warm weather allows us to exercise outdoors and gives our body vitamin D.
Vitamin D comes directly from the sun. It can also be found in fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms. Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because your skin produces it naturally in response to sunlight. The vitamin regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body.
Research shows links between vitamin D and an improved mood in people battling depression. Depression is one of the most common types of mental illnesses found in adults. Be sure to soak in 10-30 minutes of vitamin D daily and don’t forget to apply sunscreen!
Humans are social beings. People need to be around each other to meet our social and emotional needs. The summer months are an opportunity to spend more time with friends and family. Come together for a picnic or BBQ. Sharing conversation, eating healthy food, and laughing all promote endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are the body’s natural source of “feel-good” chemicals.
The more fresh produce you eat, the more essential nutrients your body gets! Fruits and vegetables hydrate the body and regulate digestion. A healthy digestive system conserves energy and contributes to feeling lighter and performing more optimally.
Sun, socializing, and fresh produce aren’t the only ways to naturally uplift your mood. There are certain nutrients that may also lead to better brain functioning and mood regulations. Some of these vital nutrients include:
B vitamins (mainly folate (B9), B12, B6) – Found in leafy greens, yogurt, eggs, and legumes like beans and lentils. These vitamins help produce neural chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions.
Magnesium – Found in leafy greens like spinach, bananas, and avocados. Magnesium plays an important role in regulating neurotransmitters. This mineral may impact mood and how you deal with stress and/or anxiety symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids – Found in fish and other seafood, avocados, nuts, seeds, and plant oils like flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. The brain is the fattiest organ in your body. It’s no wonder that eating healthy fats is so vital to brain performance.
Source: National Library of Medicine