Foods that make you happy

January 16, 2017

Originally Published May 4, 2015

With the weather getting chillier, it’s easier to get the blues and one of the things we can do to combat them is to eat nourishing, hearty foods. While we might crave certain foods over others when it’s cold, it’s great to focus on foods that actually assist in raising your spirits and giving your happy hormones a boost!

Top happy foods include..

Greek Yogurt
Packed with more calcium than regular yogurt or even milk, plus double the protein amount and half the sugar content of plain yogurt, adequate levels of calcium and protein assist the brain release feel-good neurotransmitters that boost your mood and make you feel happier.

Irritability, anxiety, and depression are linked to low levels of calcium so that’s as good an excuse to hit up the dairy aisle as any or, for the dairy intolerant, go for green foods such as kale and broccoli and canned fish such as sardines and salmon.

Walnuts are known to be packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which have the ability to raiseyour spirits, ease anger and are a good source of vitamin B6, tryptophan, and folate (vitamin B9) which helps fight depression.

Another food packed with omega-3 fatty acids plus vitamin D and vitamin B12. Salmon also contains nutrients that increase the levels of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain – perfect for individuals suffering from depression.

Nature’s pre-packaged snack is one of the best foods to give your day a boost.  Containing a variety of minerals, amino acids and vitamins including potassium, tryptophan, B vitamins, phosphorous, fibre, iron, and magnesium, bananas are great for energy, digestion, depression, anxiety, stress, and mood-elevation. The vitamin B6 in particular releases neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain that reduce the symptoms of depression.

Turkey (and chicken) are known to be a rich source of tryptophan, a nutrient that is essential for the production of serotonin – the “feel-good” hormone.  Turkey also contains another amino acid, tyrosine which helps combat symptoms of depression and stress.

In particular, dark and raw chocolate.  We might not need another reason to eat chocolate so soon after Easter but it truly does make people happy – because it tastes good but also because there are naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate which can affect the brain via the release of neurotransmitters.

Chocolate contains phenylethlyamine, the ‘love drug’, which arouses feelings similar to those that occur when one is in love via the release of endorphins, which decrease levels of stress and pain.  Tryptophan is an amino acid contained in chocolate, which causes the release of serotonin into the brain.

Chocolate also contains anadamide, which activates a receptor that causes dopamine production with dopamine causing a feeling of well-being.

Article by The Hunter Co 

For more foods that make you happy…Head over to Healthy Recipes!

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