The foods that we fuel our bodies with have a highly significant impact not only on our health, but also our mood. When we eat whole, nutritious foods, we set ourselves up for feeling our best, physically, mentally and emotionally.
In contrast, if we dine on processed junk, we are quite literally inviting depression, anxiety and anger into our lives.
While eating healthy in general can help to promote a good mood, there are certain foods which can work overtime in making us feel happier, calmer and better overall. The following are six such foods.
Lentils are rich in folic acid, a B-vitamin which is linked to promoting the optimal metabolism of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, which are key to feeling positive. A deficiency in folic acid has been linked to depression. Just one cup of lentils provides 90 percent of the daily allowance of this important vitamin.
On top of that, lentils are full of fiber and protein, which help you to feel nourished and satiated throughout the day.
Like lentils, spinach is also high in folic acid. It also contains a plethora of other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you eat a lot of spinach, you will be replenishing any deficiencies that your body has of these nutrients, allowing all of your systems to work as they should, so that you can feel your best.
This delicious fatty fish contains ample amounts of vitamin D, which we also get from sunshine. In the colder seasons, when sunlight is more limited, eating salmon can help you get the vitamin D that your body needs. This vitamin has been linked to healthy serotonin levels, which are important to balancing your mood.
Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked not only to heart and brain health, but also to aiding in the alleviation of depression.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, including oleic acid, which boosts heart health and helps the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Monounsaturated fats may also help to sensitize the brain to serotonin. These creamy fruits also contain potassium, which is important for regulating blood pressure.
Raw dark chocolate
Raw dark chocolate, or cacao, contains oleic acid, as well as healthy saturated fats which nourish the entire body. Cacao also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which has been linked to releasing endorphins, and affects the chemistry of the brain in a similar way to falling in love.
Additionally, this superfood has been associated with increasing the availability of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, which boosts mood and helps to combat depression.
That morning cup of coffee may have something to do with keeping your mood elevated throughout the day. As we reported earlier, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health studied over 50,000 women over the course of ten years, and found that those who consumed the most caffeinated coffee exhibited a decreased risk of depression.
While adding the above-listed foods to your diet can go far, remember that the most important thing you can do for both your health and your happiness (which naturally go hand in hand) is to take good care of yourself. Make sure you are eating real, unprocessed foods, exercising regularly, and taking some time to unwind from your busy day and do something you love.
Also, choose to make your happiness a priority. If you are enjoying your life, everything else will fall into place.
-The Alternative Daily