Meditation and positive imagery are tools to reduce stress. Let’s try some food imagery: Picture a plate with bright green spinach topped with caramel-colored crunchy nuts, moist chunks of lean poultry, and bright orange and red dried fruit. Alongside this beautiful salad, you have a golden brown whole-grain roll and a cool refreshing glass of milk. Top this off with a bit of dark chocolate for dessert. Have I lulled you into a peaceful state of mind?
Can what you eat affect your mood? Can your diet be part of the equation to reduce stress? Possibly. Take a moment to think about what you eat and how it makes you feel.
We’ve all had a rotten mood and we’ve all eaten rotten food – okay well maybe not literally rotting, but food that is rotten for us! For most people, eating food (such as junk food) can make their health worse; which only worsens their mood.
But what if there was food that was healthy, and could also act as a natural anti-depressant? There are foods that meet those qualifications! Here are the 10 best foods, that will make you happy, and keep you healthy:
10 Foods To Make You Happier
10 – Swiss Chard
This little-used vegetable contains a lot of magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that is a vital part of the biochemical reactions that increase energy levels in the human body. A study in 2009 in the “Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry” discovered that lower magnesium levels were associated with higher depression scores.
9 – Blue Potatoes
Blue Potatoes aren’t exactly a commonplace produce to find in a grocery store. However, they have powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins; anthocyanins provide neuro-protective qualities, like reducing the brain inflammation that is commonly associated with depression, and boosting short-term memory. Your thyroid gland is maintained, as well, by the iodine found in the peel.
8 – Mussels
Mussels have moderate to high amounts of Vitamin B12, Selenium, Iodine, protein, and Zinc, while being low in calories and fat. The Iodine helps to, as previously mentioned, support the thyroid gland, which helps to regulate mood and weight; the Selenium and Zinc help the thyroid gland, as well. The Vitamin B12 helps to strengthen and insulate a person’s brain cells, which keeps the brain sharp over time.
Note: Be sure to eat farmed mussels rather than wild mussels, as this will not only benefit your health, but the health of the environment as well.
7 – Dark Chocolate
Yes, you read that correctly. Dark chocolate has benefits that milk and German chocolate do not have. Dark chocolate improves the blood-flow to the brain, and provides an instant boost in concentration and mood. This will help you to feel more energetic and vibrant. However, don’t go overboard: The “Journal of Psychopharmacology” says that all you need is a few ounces of dark chocolate each day to reap the benefits.
6 – Greek Yogurt
Calcium – which Greek yogurt has large amounts of (more than milk) – helps a person’s brain by causing it to release happiness-inducing neurotransmitters. Greek yogurt also has more protein than regular yogurt, which makes weight-loss easier.
5 – Asparagus
Asparagus has high levels of folate and tryptophan. Low levels of folate have been linked to depression in half of all cases of depression, according to recent research. Tryptophan is also used by the brain to make serotonin, which is one of the human brain’s main mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters. Note: Turkey is also a great source of tryptophan. While it has been known to make people sleepy during Thanksgiving, the tryptophan requires calories in order to activate its sedative-like effects.
4 – Honey
In regards to health, honey is far better than regular sugar. Honey contains kaempferol and quercetin, which helps to prevent depression (and keep your brain healthy) by reducing inflammation in the brain. It also won’t send your body into “fat-storage” mode, like regular sugar can, by having less of an impact on blood-sugar levels.
3 – Cherry Tomatoes
All tomatoes have a substance known as lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that fights inflammation in the brain and generally protects the brain. For best results, eat them with olive oil; olive oil helps to increase the absorption of lycopene.
2 – Eggs
Eggs contain moderate-to-large amounts of Zinc, Vitamin B, Iodine, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and protein. Not only can eggs keep you energized, they can also keep you full (stomach-wise) for longer! A 2008 study in the “International Journal of Obesity” found that people who had eggs for breakfast lost considerably more weight, compared to those who ate bagels for breakfast.
1 – Coconuts
Despite the fact that coconuts are most commonly found in unhealthy desserts, coconuts do contain medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides are special fats that fuel better moods and promote general brain-health.
How can you increase these foods in your life?! Let us know if you feel the benefits!!