Yoga diet: What to eat for

FOCUS AND MOTIVATION

Here are some choices to improve concentration… Green tea – Contains a combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, which helps to increase certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as GABA, which helps to improve focus and concentration. Eggs – The protein in eggs can significantly boost your levels of tryptophan and tyrosine – the building blocks for serotonin and dopamine. Dopamine is a key brain chemical that can improve motivation, productivity and focus.

Eggs also provide the nutrient choline, which supports overall brain function and memory. Avocado – Rich in monounsaturated fats known to lower inflammation (inflammation can disrupt levels of mood-boosting neurotransmitters). Avocados also provide tyrosine, an amino acid that helps the body produce dopamine. Almonds – Contain a wealth of B vitamins and magnesium needed for production of brain chemicals. Perfect as a healthy snack.

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MOOD BOOST

If you’re just feeling a little flat, here are some additional foods to perk up your mood… Turmeric – Curcumin, one of the active compounds in turmeric, has been shown in studies to ease depression and boost mood. This may be due to its anti-inflammatory properties, because inflammation has been linked to depression. While absorption of curcumin from turmeric is limited, you can increase this by adding black pepper and a little oil when using. Try adding turmeric to soups and curries. Chicken and turkey – These protein-packed foods are rich in tryptophan, which the body uses to make mood-boosting serotonin.

Lean poultry also contains the amino acid tyrosine, which is needed to make mood-boosting dopamine. Chicken and turkey also contain B vitamins, including B12, that has been shown to help to fight depression. Salmon – Omega 3 rich foods, such as salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel, are well known brain foods. Low levels have been linked to increased anxiety and depression. Try to increase your intake of oily fish to two to three times a week, to really boost your levels. Mushrooms – One of the few natural plant sources of vitamin D. Deficiencies in vitamin D have been associated with low mood and depression. Other food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, egg yolks and liver.

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