12 ‘Superfoods’ That Help Manage Bipolar Moods

By bp Magazine November 13, 2016

Although there are no specific recommendations when it comes to the foods that will help symptoms but nixing the processed, packaged fare and focus on eating fresh, whole food is a good idea. So rather than focusing on the food you should eliminate from your diet, research shows that adding these “superfoods” may help with managing mood disorders:

#1 Avocados 

The monosaturated (“good”) fats in this heart-healthy fruit not only lower cholesterol but also help keep the receptors in the brain sensitive to serotonin, thought to boost mood. These same fats will help lower blood pressure, another key to feeling relaxed.

#2 Beans 

Of all the varieties, pinto, garbanzo (chick-peas) and mung are the greatest sources of vitamin B9 (folic acid, or folate). Studies have shown that a body that lacks folic acid has a higher than- normal level of homocysteine, a condition that’s been linked to bipolar disorder. A cup of each will go a long way, meeting more than 40 percent of your RDA (recommended daily allowance).

#3 Brazil nuts

They’re an excellent source of the mineral selenium, and several studies have linked low selenium levels to low mood. The nuts are also rich in B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc, which can help calm stressed nerves and keep you alert.

#4 Chocolate

Cocoa beans are rich in a variety of mood-lifting ingredients (including phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter that appears to relieve depression symptoms) that are most concentrated in dark chocolate. A recent study found that eating 1.5 oz. of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced level of stress hormones.

#5 Cottage cheese 

Not only is it a good source of B12 but also contains plenty of whey protein, which has been shown to decrease anxiety and irritability. A glass of milk is another way to get a good shot of whey in a hurry.

#6 Fruit 

All of it is good! But a few favorites are B6-rich bananas (vitamin B6 is known to build serotonin levels) and energy boosting, vitamin C-packed pineapple (loaded also with manganese and thiamin, which help metabolize body-fueling carbohydrates).

 #7 Liver

The liver of most any animal is packed with vitamin B9. Often appearing on the culinary scene as pâté, liver also shows up in sausage (liverwurst). Turkey liver provides the most folate (B9), with a 3-ounce (100g) serving reaching 173 percent of the RDA.

#8 Salmon 

Raw, baked, broiled or grilled, salmon is one of the healthiest foods around. The omega-3 that shows up in abundance in salmon has been found to be necessary for healthy bodies and minds. Like mackerel, sardines, anchovies and albacore tuna, salmon also contains protein, for long-lasting energy, and tyrosine, which the body uses to create two mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine.

#9 Spinach 

Spinach, like turnip greens and collards, is not only plentiful in folic acid, but also full of vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants, for overall good health. Raw versions provide the most folate.

#10 Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin B9. So eat them as a snack or addition to salads. One handful will give you more than half of your daily folate, as well as magnesium, needs.

#11 Tofu 

This once beguiling bean curd is now considered a pure, health-giving food of the times. Made from the curds of soybean milk, tofu is highly nutritious and an important protein source in vegetarian diets. Numerous studies have shown that the soy protein found in tofu can help lower cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease.

#12 Walnuts

Perhaps the king of nuts—cholesterol-free, low in fat, and filled with vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate and protein. And if that weren’t good enough, they also boast omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. To help keep yourself on an even keel, sprinkle them on oatmeal or a salad.