food

Eat your way to happiness? Oh, alright, if I have to!

Right, so here’s the thing ladies: if you want to be happy you’re just going to have to eat more chocolate.

Call me the good news fairy. But it doesn’t stop there.

There are 6 particular foods you should incorporate into your daily diet to improve your overall wellbeing and elevate your moods. One is chocolate. And ONE IS COFFEE!! God bless the research that says not only should we consume them, but we should do it often. Like, DAILY!!!

I feel happier already. What else should be on my mood-lifting menu?

Science says we MUST eat these to be happy. And who are we to argue with Science?

In this recently published Time.com article, nutritionist and registered dietitian, Cynthia Sass recommends the following 6 research-backed "better mood foods" that we should incorporate and eat each day to improve our health, well-being and happiness:

Coffee

"Research has actually linked regular java consumption to positivity. In one study, researchers found coffee consumed in the morning was linked to energy, kindness, and pleasure. Coffee enjoyed socially was tied to affection, friendship, satisfaction, and good nature, and when sipped leisurely, cups of Joe induced calm, happiness, and tranquility. Another study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that women who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were 15 per cent less likely to develop depression over a 10-year span, compared to those who consumed one cup or less each day."

Dark chocolate

"The antioxidants in dark chocolate can trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. That may be why one study found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate daily for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in people who rated themselves as highly stressed. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, a mineral that has been shown to help alleviate PMS symptoms, including fatigue, depression, and irritability. Finally, dark chocolate’s unique natural substances trigger a sense of euphoria that’s similar in to the feeling of being in love!"

Probiotic-rich foods

"In a recent Dutch study, 20 healthy volunteers received either a probiotic supplement or a placebo for four weeks. Those who received the real deal showed a significantly reduced reactivity to sad mood, which was largely due to a reduction in aggressive thoughts, and rumination (you know, when you over-think or obsess on the negative). The conclusion: the type and amount of bacteria in your digestive tract impacts your mood. Scientists even have a name for it: the gut-brain axis, or the communication highway between the GI tract and the brain."

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Fruits and veggies

"In a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, nearly 300 young adults kept daily food journals for three consecutive weeks, in addition to completing psychological and mood-related ratings. Researchers found that a higher intake of produce resulted in more energy, calm, and a greater sense of happiness. They also noted that the effects were seen not only on the days more veggies and fruits were consumed, but also throughout the following day. Another study, published in the journal Social Indicators Research, which tracked 80,000 adults, found that consuming a higher amount of produce boosted mental well-being, with the magic number for happiness being seven daily servings. To use produce to elevate your mood, choose fruits and veggies first, and build each meal around them."

Mushrooms

"Mushrooms are rich in selenium and research has linked a deficiency of this mineral (which doubles as an antioxidant) to a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Mushrooms are also the only plant source of natural vitamin D, a key nutrient of us aren’t getting enough of. To bolster your intake, incorporate mushrooms into omelettes or quiche at breakfast, salads at lunch, and sauté, grill, or oven roast them at dinner."

Green tea

"A Japanese study, conducted with more than 40,000 people, found that levels of psychological stress were 20 per cent lower in people who drank five or more cups of green tea per day compared to those who drank less than one. The results held true even after other factors were accounted for, including age, sex, medical history, body mass index, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and diet. Reach for green tea as a beverage, or incorporate loose tea leaves or brewed green tea into cooking."

So there you have it, the 6, no-nonsense and easy to source foods that if consumed in moderation, can lead to elevated moods and a happier disposition. This advice is backed by science and who are we to argue with facts?

Go forth and enjoy!

Like to read more articles like this? Why not try these:

Why sharing memories is soul food

Fact check: Do antioxidants actually slow the ageing process?

When the very best of dinner party intentions go wrong

 

Tags: aging , exercise-and-fitness , health
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