Dr. Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW spoke with Elite Daily about foods that can help improve your mood and get you in the holiday spirit.
Who knew the main attraction of Thanksgiving grub could be so good for your demeanor? Mental health counselor Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW, LLC says a generous serving of the Thanksgiving bird can definitely lift your spirits, all thanks to that thing called tryptophan in turkey, which you might usually associate with feeling sleepy. However, Forshee tells Elite Daily, “research in the area of neurobiology of depression has indicated that those suffering from depression may have a deficiency of plasma L-tryptophan.” So, eating something rich in tryptophan would presumably help to balance out that deficiency.
Of course, depression is a very serious, clinical mental illness, and shouldn’t be used as a way to describe a temporary bad mood around the holidays. That being said, L-tryptophan is an amino acid that affects the brain’s levels of serotonin, aka a happy hormone, Forshee explains. So if you feel kind of down at the dinner table for one reason or another, add a few extra slices of turkey to your plate and see if your mood takes a turn for the better.
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