Want to be Happy? Eat! - Delicious Ways to Improve Your Mood

By Sharon Moore on August 31, 2012

Maybe you’ve seen movies where in the weeping lady or a broken-hearted man succumbs to junk foods and sweet desserts in hope of feeling better. Although eating could be a great way to improve your mood, it is essential that you know what particular foods can truly bust off the depression. Instead of opening a bag of cookies or sipping soft drink, experts suggest we eat more of the following foods:

Blue Potatoes

You might find it hard to look for blue potatoes but the moment you see one, go and buy it! Blue potatoes are rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins that aid in reducing the inflammation in the brain which is linked to depression. They also enhance short-term memory.

Dark chocolate

If you want something sweet to ease he bitterness that you feel, dark chocolates are perfect treats for you. Dark chocolates are known to improve blood circulation in the brain, and enhance mood and concentration. A few ounces of dark chocolate a day are enough to experience its health benefits.

Mussels

Do you love seafood? Try stir-frying mussels and have a delicious, mood-enhancing meal! Mussels are loaded with vitamin B12, iodine, protein, selenium, and zinc. Iodine, which is essential in keeping the thyroid gland healthy, is known to prevent weight gain and regulate mood. Mussels are low in calories and fats so you don’t have to worry about your diet.

Greek yogurt

Instead of comforting yourself with fatty and overly sweet ice cream, have some Greek yogurt instead. This healthy treat is high in calcium which helps improve your mood by stimulating the release of happiness-inducing neurotransmitters. It is also loaded with protein, an essential element of fat loss.

Honey

Instead of sugar, use honey for your smoothie or any sweet recipes. This natural sweetener contains kaempferol and quercetin that help alleviate depression by reducing the inflammation in the brain.

Coconut

Coconut meat is usually used as flavour in ice creams, cakes and other desserts. Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides – special fats that promote better mood and mental health.

Asparagus

This delicious veggie is high in folate and tryptophan. Recent research links low levels of folate with depression. Tryptophan on the other hand is a compound that is used by the brain to produce serotonin – the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters. Tryptophan can also be found in turkey meat.

Other foods that can make you happy are Swiss chard, tomatoes, fish and eggs.

Some Points to Remember

Aside from the choice of food, some dietary habits might be affecting your mood already. Here are some ways to keep your mood (as well as your blood sugar) stable: 

·         Don’t skip breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you want to start your day right, make sure you have a satisfying, healthy breakfast. Hunger makes you feel weak, irritable and anxious. So never skip meals. Experts recommend eating few servings of food frequently. This helps you sustain energy without gaining weight. NOTE: Make sure your meal includes fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fibre. 

·         Avoid too much alcohol

After a very tiring day, we sometimes feel the urge to sit down in front of the TV and pamper ourselves with a few glasses of beer or a shot or two of wine. Contrary to the popular belief, alcohol is actually a depressant. If you have problems with your mood or have history of depression and other emotional problems, avoid drinking alcohol. 

·         Avoid too much sweets

If you really want some sweet treats when you’re feeling low, stick to complex sugars like those found in whole grains. Simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice and the like produce a sudden surge in the glucose levels in the long run, leads to unstable mood problems and illnesses.

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