One of the biggest factors that can affect my entire day is how confident I'm feeling. Of course, it's totally normal to have days when you're not as on top of things as usual, but personally, I still do my best to make sure I'm feeling relatively confident as often as possible. Sometimes this means adding color to my outfit with a bright top or a bold lip, or blasting female pop anthems while I go for a long run. According to experts, the foods you eat can also help you feel more confident, and luckily for you, they have some great recommendations to offer.
In addition to nourishing your brain with these confidence-boosting foods, make sure you aren't eating too many of the foods that can have the opposite effect on your body. If you want to support a positive mood, Dr. Mike Roussell, Ph.D., co-founder of Neuro Coffee and Neutein, suggests making sure you aren't overdoing it on stimulants like coffee.
"People who eat diets high in sugar (soda, cookies, candy, etc.) are at a significantly higher risk of depression compared to those who eat a lower sugar diet," he tells Elite Daily in an email.
Aside from finding balance in your caffeine and junk food indulgences, stock up on these five foods to boost your self confidence.
Feel like the quinoa of the world
Your favorite whole grain might do as much for your confidence as it can for your health. Registered dietitian nutritionist Wesley Delbridge told USA Today that a flavonoid (aka a natural compound typically found in most plants, fruits, and vegetables) found in quinoa can have "a significant anti-depressant effect," according to the outlet.
Personally, I used to think that quinoa tasted like soap and tried to avoid it at all costs, but if you want to make your own batch of the hearty grain at home, try rinsing it really well before you cook it. Trust me, this extra little step makes a huge difference.
Snack on plenty of pistachios
I know for me, one factor that can affect my confidence is how well I'm remembering important things for work or school. On an off day when your brain just isn't working at its best, it's easy to get discouraged.
According to Dr. Roussell, this is the perfect time to snack on a few pistachios. "Pistachios have been recently shown to increase gamma brain waves, which play a role in cognition, learning, memory, recall, and other key brain functions," he tells Elite Daily. And if you're anything like me, then being totally on top of your to-do list will make you feel like you can take on the world.
Add turmeric to just about anything
Technically, turmeric is a spice and not a whole food, but the brain-boosting benefits it boasts make it a great choice if you're looking to up your confidence. The key is curcumin, one of the substances found in the spice. "Curcumin demonstrates neuroprotective properties in the brain, enhances mood and there is some evidence it helps against depression," ethnobotanist Chris Kilham told CNN.
Chances are, you've tried a turmeric latte or made your own golden milk recipe, but if you haven't been introduced to the wonders of this spice yet, you can also play with adding it to a curry, or even just sprinkling it on top of your tacos. Since the flavor is very adaptable to both sweet and savory dishes, you can do just about anything with turmeric.
Sip away on matcha tea
"Green tea, especially matcha, contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which increases feelings of well-being," Dr. Roussell explains.
If you're more of a coffee girl than a tea lover, opt for a brain-boosting coffee like Neuro Coffee, he says, since it's rich in something called BDNF, which is a key neuroprotein that supports good mental health and well-being, according to Roussell.
Indulge your love of dairy
If you haven't quite jumped on the nut milk bandwagon yet and would rather just drink regular ol' cow's milk, you can take comfort in knowing that your love of cheese could have major benefits for your mood. According to a study published in the medical journal Nutrition Reviews, vitamin D-fortified dairy products can help protect against depression and other mood disorders.
So as long as you aren't sensitive to lactose, keep your spirits high and fight against the lack of sunshine that (sadly) comes along with fall by enjoying your favorite dairy treats.