We all know that pizza and yummy snack foods can make you feel happy…for a few minutes or so. But the reality is that over time, those things won’t make you feel any sorts of happy if you eat too much of it. So here are a few foods that can actually put you in a better mood AND bring a little extra health to your day:
“Emerging research in the fields of neuroscience and nutrition show that people who eat a diet of modern processed foods have increased levels of depression, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and a wide variety of other mental and emotional problems,” wrote Dr. Drew Ramsey. One way to combat the ill effects of a processed diet is simply to start with a whole, unprocessed one. Cooking one’s own meals out of natural ingredients is a good way to take care of the body and the brain.
Salmon and other fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA could play a role in overall mood and well-being. Research shows that these fats have a protective effect against depression and in one study helped reduce the anxiety experienced by medical students. Other sources of DHA and EPA include walnuts and flaxseed.
Almonds are high in a compound called tyrosine, which is one of the building blocks for the production of dopamine and other mood-associated neurotransmitters. That means eating a handful of these healthful nuts will not only improve cardiovascular health, thanks to their richness in fiber and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids — it could also help your mood.
Apples are rich in quercetin, a compound that defends your brain cells from free-radicals that can damage the lining of neurons, CNN reported.
Everyone knows that chocolate is delicious and full of antioxidants. But it can also help to reduce anxiety. In those who suffer from anxiety, milk chocolate was found to help reduce symptoms. For those with no history of anxiety, dark chocolate was most helpful, the study reported.
These seeds are another source of tyrosine, and are also rich in heart-protective vitamin E and selenium.
Soy is another rich source of tyrosine, but also provides a heart-healthy dose of protein and can help benefit everything from bone health to reducing symptoms of menopause.