"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Eating for Confidence: What You Should Know

February 1, 2024 – Confidence could be inbuilt some ways – through exercise, self-care, being kinder to yourself – and latest research shows your eating regimen could have an effect. Certain nutrients can boost self-esteem by nourishing your brain and subsequently positively influencing your emotions.

A recent study from the Universidad Europea de Valencia in Spain found that each vitamin D supplements and following a balanced eating regimen plan are helpful the Mediterranean diet improved overall mental health of participants. Dive deeper, Polish researchers conducted a research and located that certain foods can actually be used as a psychoprotective agent. This is what their study found Probiotics like for instance Lactobacillus helveticus (present in cheese and milk) and Bifidobacterium longum (present in kefir, sourdough bread and sauerkraut) can function an efficient stress reducer and improve mood.

In short: When you eat higher, you're feeling higher – and that may make you're feeling higher.

“The hormones responsible for the 'feel good' response in the brain are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. These hormones together are called DOSE,” said Sue Ellen Anderson-Haynes, a registered dietitian and founding father of the wellness organization 360GirlsandWomen. “Improving mood requires foods that contain certain nutrients to trigger DOSE production. Some of these nutrients are.” Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin C, Thiamine (vitamin B1), Folate (vitamin B6), And selenium.”

As a matter of fact: This is what researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Medicine report that the gut produces 90% of the body's serotonin and half of its dopamine, further emphasizing the importance of consuming foods to boost these hormones.

However, the key to creating the psychological conditions that maximize positive mood lies in the proper balance of these nutrients. To do this, you need to pay attention to your diet.

“It is important to understand the complexity of the human body and the different ways in which mental health and well-being can be influenced,” he said Shelley Maniscalco, MPH, a registered dietitian and founding partner of the dietary support organization Nutrition in Demand. “Dietary advice has evolved over time to focus less on nutrients and more on food group recommendations that lead to an overall healthy eating pattern. Many studies have begun to consider the entire food matrix – that is, the entirety of a food's structure and nutrients, which in turn can influence the way they are metabolized and utilized by the body.

Read on to learn five simple ways to eat more confidently.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

You've probably heard this before: Science shows that it's important to eat fruits and vegetables every day.

“Consumer research from the Produce for Better Health Foundation study found that eating fruits and vegetables increased feelings of life satisfaction and short-term happiness,” Maniscalco said. “Specifically, this study suggested a connection between the number of days per week one consumes fruits and vegetables and a person's reported level of happiness and life satisfaction. People who ate fruits and vegetables six to seven days a week reported feeling good and being more confident.

Data from the American Heart Association shows that fruits and vegetables can reverse depression symptoms by fighting inflammation in the body. For best mood-boosting results, focus on colorful fruits and vegetables.

“B vitamins like B6 and folic acid, found in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits, increase serotonin production, which aids cognition,” Anderson-Haynes said. “In addition, vitamin C, found in kiwis, oranges and lemons, is essential for the production of oxytocin.”

Focus on foods wealthy in omega-3 fatty acids

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can help increase feelings of well-being by having a positive impact on the central nervous system. Eating fish at least twice a week is a good way to increase consumption. Additionally, “Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, nuts, and seeds and are thought to not only reduce inflammation in the body, including the brain, but also improve mood, reduce stress, etc.” [improves] cognitive function,” Anderson-Hayes said.

Create a shopping list for more confidence

Resolve to buy less processed foods at the supermarket. Instead, fill your shelves with foods that give you that cosmopolitan vibe in the healthiest way possible. For example, eat healthy carbohydrates to increase your serotonin levels. The Mayo Clinic recommends oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat bread and whole grain cereals.

Vitamin D is also great for boosting confidence-building brain chemicals. Therefore, make sure you consume yogurt and eggs regularly. A Turkish study found that the antioxidant properties of vitamin D can reduce anxiety and depression. And nut fans should try walnuts: Research has shown that walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which is known to promote brain health and potentially relieve symptoms of depression.

Additionally, salmon and raisins are good sources of magnesium; Thiamine is found in fortified cereals and breads; and Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium.

Spice up your diet

Exercise isn't the only way to release endorphins.

“Endorphin release can also be achieved by eating spicy food,” said Anderson-Haynes. “Endorphins help relieve stress and pain, but also play a role in building self-confidence.”

Healthy options include jalapeno pepper, curry and vegetarian chili.

Adjust your eating habits

Eating foods with the right nutrients may not be the only way to boost your confidence at the table. A recent Australian study found that three other factors can influence positive feelings about food consumption.

First, if you eat with other people you like or with family, you are more likely to feel more comfortable than if you dine alone.

Additionally, if you have the financial means to buy quality food and the time to prepare it well, you will feel more positive. So focus your grocery budget on inexpensive, fresh produce that is delicious and can be adapted for multiple recipes.

Finally, when you eat foods that remind you of happy times in the past, that feeling of nostalgia can increase your feelings of joy, according to the study. But don't indulge in sugary treats. Instead, treat yourself to healthy favorites. (Remember that peanut butter and banana sandwich your mom packed you for lunch?)

Eat correctly and provides your personal power a kickstart.