Top Ten Happy Foods

Top Ten Happy Foods

January 04, 2018

Need a pep up post-party season? At this time of year our schedules are so busy, juggling work, play and of course we’re all recovering from the beloved Christmas shopping! If you’re feeling below par, try adding the following to your diet and take advantage of these fab foods’ mood boosting qualities

Happiness Hormone

Of the approximate 40 million brain cells we have, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin. This includes brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation and some social behaviour.

Eat Yourself Happy

We all know that a healthy balanced diet will provide essential nutrients to fuel our bodies. However certain foods can help to improve uptake of this ‘happy hormone’ and also go some way to reduce fatigue.

 

Try to eat two or more of these mood-enhancing foods at least twice a day.

  1. Oily fish - fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as mackerel or sardines can aid concentration levels and help the brain process moods. Low levels of omega-3 has been linked with depression and other mood disorders.  

 

  1. Avocados – these delicious green gems are loaded with depression battling folate, mood uplifting tryptophan and stress relieving vitamin B6.

 

  1. Spinach – this iron-rich veg will help to boost your energy levels, combat fatigue and help concentration. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin B6 and folate which supports the brain’s ability to produce those mood enhancing neuro transmitters such as serotonin.

 

  1. Dark Chocolate – yes, you read right. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, a mineral that can go some way to relieve PMS symptoms including fatigue, irritability and depression. Its natural ingredients also contain unique substances which trigger a sense of euphoria that’s like the feeling of being in love!

 

  1. Mushrooms – the humble mushroom is an underrated superfood which is rich in selenium (that doubles as a powerful antioxidant) combatting depression, anxiety and fatigue. Mushrooms are also the only plant source of vitamin D, a key nutrient which we are lacking during the winter months.

 

  1. Brazil nuts – one of the best sources of the mood-boosting mineral selenium.

 

  1. Sweet potatoes – a good alternative to standard white spuds, sweet potatoes are better at balancing blood sugar levels.

 

  1. Bananas – another good blood sugar stabiliser, bananas are the go-to snack which will satisfy hunger and balance your mood during energy slumps. Its high vitamin B6 content can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress and it’s also a good source of tryptophan – an essential amino acid the brain converts into serotonin.

 

  1. Bread – the most basic breakfast of a daily slice can in fact help you feel happier and calmer. Wholemeal produces less serotonin than white, however the energy it produces has more staying power, so you’ll avoid the carb slump often experienced after eating white bread.

 

  1. Tofu – high in protein tofu will help up energy levels and aid concentration. It also contains an amino acid called tyrosine which boost brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine which can enhance mood.

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