Everyone loves being happy and we love to do simple things that can elevate mood and boost contentment. And believe it or not, science shows you can also eat your way happier!
Everyone loves being happy and we love to do simple things that can elevate mood and boost contentment. Mindfulness meditation, adequate sleep, laughing, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends (as well as with happy people) all help. And believe it or not, science shows you can also eat your way happier!
If you’re in need of a little more glee, here are some research-backed “better mood foods” to build into your eating repertoire.
Fruits and veggies
Research has discovered that a higher intake of fruits resulted in more energy, calm and a greater sense of happiness. Consuming a higher amount of fruits usually boost mental well-being.
Coffee drinkers can be thought of as curmudgeons, but research has actually linked regular java consumption to positivity. In one study, researchers found that 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 the JAMA Internal Medicine, found that women who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression over a 10-year span, compared to those who consumed one cup or less each day. Now that doesn’t mean consuming caffeine every day is good for our health, you have to find a balance.
Even thinking about dark chocolate brings a smile to my face, but research backs its happiness benefits. 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 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!
I adore mushrooms and due to their unique nutrients, mood regulation may be a sixth. Shrooms 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 omelets or vegetables at breakfast, salads at lunch and sauté, grill, or oven roast them at dinner.
A Japanese study, conducted with more than 40,000 people, found that levels of psychological stress were 20 percent lower in people who drank five or more cups of green tea per day compared to those who drank less than one. Reach for green tea as a beverage, or incorporate loose tea leaves or brewed green tea into cooking. It’s fantastic in smoothies, marinades, soups and sauces.