We all experience bad days that have us feeling down and low, leading us to reach for sugary comfort foods. However, those feel-good foods could actually be making you feel worse. Diet has an enormous impact on your health, and also plays a major role in your general mood. While particular foods serve to repress natural functions and contribute to negative feelings, other foods help to release hormones and neurotransmitters that create feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Take a look at our list of 8 foods that naturally make you feel good, less stressed, and more healthy.
8 Healthy Foods That Promote Happiness and Wellbeing
Walnuts are packed with serotonin which is a “feel good” neurotransmitter that promotes the feeling of happiness. This chemical in your brain is crucial to the way we eat, sleep, and behave. If you’re looking to improve your mood, add a handful of this healthy food option into your diet.
Healthy Food Choice #2 – Avocados
Just like walnuts, avocados contain serotonin, which helps to boost your mood and create feelings of happiness. They also contain healthy fats which are essential for good health; a diet with healthy fats can help to avoid stress, anxiety, depression, and frustration.
Healthy Food Choice #3 – Asparagus
Asparagus is full of tryptophan, which creates serotonin, and, by now, you must realize that serotonin is great for improving your mood. Consider adding a side of asparagus to your dinner plate with this shaved asparagus salad recipe, to experience increased happiness.
Healthy Food Choice #4 – Fatty Fish (Salmon and Tuna)
Fatty fish contains the long-chain omega-3- fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These nutrients will provide you with multiple good health benefits. University of Pittsburgh professor, Dr. Matthew F. Muldoon, revealed that individuals who reported symptoms of poor mood health had lower levels of EPA and DHA. He stated that adding healthy food that contains EPA and DHA such as tuna and salmon into the diets of depressed patients actually improved mood health. Try for a serving or two of fish a week to experience the mood-boosting good health benefits.
Healthy Food Choice #5 – Spinach
Spinach, along with other leafy greens, is loaded with folic acid – a B vitamin that has been found to enhance mood health. B vitamins are essential in producing serotonin as well. What’s more, spinach contains other fantastic benefits as it contains antioxidants that help to prevent free radical damage and magnesium to calm down your nervous system.
Healthy Food Choice #6 – Chicken
The protein in poultry is a good source of tryptophan and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 gives you an energy boost and helps to calm your body, making you less moody. This healthy food is also rich in tyrosine, an amino acid that helps the nervous system cope with stress.
Healthy Food Choice #7 – Eggs
However you like them, boiled, scrambled or as an omelette, eggs are energy-boosting healthy foods that promote good health. The yolk of an egg contains choline, vitamin D and B12, which are nutrients required for proper cognitive functioning. In addition, the yolk is full of L-tryptophan which is known to boost the production of feel-good hormones.
Healthy Food Choice #8 – Berries
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries contain anthocyanidins and anthocyanins, both of which help to decrease stress and anxiety, thereby helping to improve your mood. Berries also help fight against free radical damage to your body. These healthy foods also give great health benefits for boosting your overall good health and make wonderful additions to cereal, salad, or yogurt.
If you’re looking to improve your mood or prevent feelings of unhappiness, altering your diet may be a good first step. Adding these healthy food choices to your regular diet will help to boost your mood health and defend against depression and anxiety. In addition, by eating a healthy diet and incorporating the foods mentioned above, you’ll not only feel happier, you’re also bound to experience other good health benefits such as weight loss and reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.