Mood and Food Part 1: Happiness and Depression
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “you are what you eat,” but new research is showing instead that you actually “feel” what you eat.
Certain foods are revealing themselves to have profound effects on our mood and happiness levels.
Looking to beat the winter blues and generally feel happier? Start eating more of the following…
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help boost your mood. The body uses omega-3s for building serotonin (the feel good chemical in our body), and studies have shown that eating plenty of these fats has depression-preventing qualities.
I recommend sticking to Alaskan wild salmon when possible because farm-raised salmon often has hormones and antibiotics, which probably won’t do good things for your mood!
If you’re not into fish, flaxseed and walnuts are also packed with omega-3s.
Tip: Place a fresh piece of salmon in a skillet with some olive oil and spices, depending on the size of the filet, you should have your mood-boosting powerhouse ready to eat in about 10-12 min.
Eggs, Nuts, and Seeds
Eggs, nuts, and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) have high levels of tryptophan. Similar to omega-3, tryptophan boosts your mood through its involvement in the production of serotonin.
Tip: Throw some spinach and omega-3 fortified eggs into a skillet in the morning, scramble all, and in only a few minutes, you’ll be ready to face the day. To keep your mood up, think about packing some nuts or seeds for a snack at work (my favs: almonds and walnuts!)
The antioxidants found in blueberries help keep our bodies and brains running smoothly. New research shows that certain compounds in blueberries prompt the body to become its own antioxidant factory, churning out feel-good enzymes in the brain!
Tip: Keep some fresh blueberries in the fridge at all times for a healthy snack. Not in season? Frozen blueberries work too and taste great as an after-dinner dessert mixed with frozen strawberries. Try sprinkling on some cinnamon for an added treat.
Stayed tuned for Mood and Food Part 2: Anxiety and Relaxation...