There are countless reasons to maintain a healthy diet. However, did you know that one of them includes improving your happiness? Introducing certain foods into your diet can not only improve your health but boost your happiness as well.
Without a doubt, the food you eat can have a direct impact on your mood and happiness. If you’re feeling down, it could be because your levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin are low. Serotonin is a happiness hormone that helps regulate your mood, making you feel positive and confident. A lack of it is believed to contribute towards negativity, worrying, irritability and even insomnia.
While it is definitely tempting to turn to a bowl of ice cream or a huge bag of potato chips in a bid to comfort yourself, there are several alternatives for an instant positivity boost. So, before you open the fridge or cupboard door, make sure you read this article first.
Good mood foods: eat yourself happy
Vitamins and nutrients found in our foodstuffs can definitely contribute to our overall mood, happiness, and mental health. Improving your diet may also help you think more clearly and give more energy.
Eating a balanced diet will help nourish your mind and body so that you can feel your best. As such, nutritious foods provide us with the key components we need to stay healthy and maintain our happiness.
If you are wondering what basic foods can help boost happiness in your life, continue reading.
Working the food below into your diet will help you feel the positive effects that proper nutrition can have.
Eggs are a pretty handy and safe thing to have in your refrigerator. They are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.
However, many people have questions about the impact eating eggs has on their cholesterol levels. Research shows that, in healthy adults, one egg a day is not associated with coronary heart disease or stroke.
Having more than seven eggs per week, however, has been associated with increased risk, particularly for diabetes sufferers.
There are countless different ways to cook eggs. They can be eaten fried, grilled, poached, steamed, or scrambled. To incorporate them into your diet use them in burritos, noodles, salads, and in sandwiches for breakfast.
Nut butter is a great addition to a healthy diet. However, be vigilant because some are laden with sugar, hydrogenated oils, and other not-so-great ingredients.
Plain nuts are chock full of protein, food, vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. Moreover, they are compact, easy to store, and easy to incorporate into your diet.
They’re energy-dense and deliver a hefty caloric punch. Eating a handful of roasted or unsalted nuts as a fast and safe snack is the best way to consume them. Alternatively, you can add them in smoothies, milk, salads, or breakfast cereals.
Dark Green Vegetables
Your mother always told you to eat your greens, and she was right! Dark green vegetables are another rich source of folate. However, veggies such as broccoli and spinach are not only good mood foods because of folate’s mood-controlling effect, indeed, they contain other mental health benefits.
Iron, found in decent amounts in leafy greens such as spinach, is involved in many neurological activities. Its deficiency is associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Iron also helps the body to make healthy red blood cells. A lack of Magnesium has also been linked to depressive and anxiety symptoms, and the great news is this mineral is abundant in leafy greens also. Broccoli and kale are also thought to help suppress tumors and other cancerous cell growths.
Adding dark, green leafy greens like spinach and kale to your soups, smoothies, salads, wraps, or bowls is a great way to eat them. Remember to add a splash of oil to your leafy greens, such as extra virgin olive oil. This will help promote the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients found in these vegetables.
Fish is full of fatty acids, vitamin D, and omega-3s. Omega-3 fats protect the heart by preserving healthy blood flow, decreasing inflammation, and increasing blood pressure and triglyceride levels. The fats in fish are also great for our brains and happiness.
Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring are all excellent omega-3 fatty acid sources.
If you’re concerned about exposure to mercury, stop eating high-mercury types like swordfish, lobster, marlin, bigeye tuna, and king mackerel.
Poaching the meat is the easiest way to eat fish, but steaming is also an excellent way to prepare the fish. Baking fish is another unique method of cooking that requires minimum effort.
Quinoa is one of the most wholesome and versatile whole grains. It is also a steady source of fiber, calcium, and vitamin B6. It also provides more protein and iron than other plants.
The easiest way to eat quinoa is to cook a batch over the weekend in advance and put it in your fridge. Use it in soups, salads, stuffed beans, quesadillas, and bowls for breakfasts throughout the week.
You can also stir cooked quinoa with beans, leftover veggies, herbs, and a splash of olive oil and seasoning to make a fast meal packed with nutrients.
Another vegetarian staple, tofu is made from soybean curd. Soy products are rich sources of essential amino acids and you can substitute tofu for pretty much any protein, making it a mealtime staple for vegetarians and vegans alike. Tofu also contains no cholesterol and is low in calories, two more reasons to add it to your shopping list.
We all know that fruit is good for us, but did you know berries are a good mood food to boost mental health? Strong scientific evidence exists that eating berry fruits has many beneficial brain effects, including helping to prevent age-related memory loss.
Berry fruits also contain high levels of powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. What’s more, they also contain flavonoids, which help regulate mood and enhance memory. If that wasn’t enough, they’re high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and digestive enzymes, but low in calories. Add them to your cereal, porridge or yogurt for a tasty, fruity pick-me-up!
Many meat-eaters only tend to gobble down this bird over the festive season, but the reality is that turkey is one of the best good mood foods you can consume. Turkey is low in fat and very high in protein. This means it’s also very high in essential amino acids and, consequently, the feel-good chemical serotonin. Turkey also has good levels of B6 which is great for fighting off depression, stress, and is a memory booster, too!
We all know that eating a diet that’s full of processed food, sugar and alcohol is not good for our well-being or happiness. Additionally, a lack of vital nutrients can be responsible for exacerbating the symptoms of some pre-existing mental health conditions. And consuming excessive amounts of coffee is also bad for anxiety and panic attacks.
Instead, the list of good mood foods we’ve outlined above provides you with many of the essential nutrients, amino acids, and vitamins that can help improve your mood and overall happiness levels. It’s really worth taking time to think about the food we put in our bodies and how it can affect our mood.