5 Foods To Boost Your Mood
Happiness. What does that word mean to you? What makes YOU happy? Answers to these questions may vary from person to person because what brings complete bliss to you, may not bring joy to others at all. We each have our own definitions of what happiness looks and feels like. Whatever your definition is, gaining happiness and maintaining it is something we all wish for, but of course, there are times of challenges, loss and shortcomings that get in the way. So, what do we do when we feel unhappy? There are many coping skills used when getting back to that happy place we crave, from counseling to working out, being around family to reading, or whatever else WE feel will bring us that cheerful mood. But did you know there are foods out there that can increase your happy mood as well?
Before we dive any deeper, let’s discuss the science behind it. We all have an important neurotransmitter in our bodies called serotonin. Medical News Today calls this the happy chemical because it plays a direct role in our happy moods. Low levels of serotonin can affect our mood, as low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression. So, now that we have a brief idea of what serotonin is, the next question is, are there any foods that could help boost our levels of serotonin? The answer to this question is YES! There are plenty of foods out there that contain tryptophan, the amino acid needed to kickstart your serotonin levels. Now that we have explored the science behind it all, let's look into the foods that can help us cultivate happiness!
Eggs are great for breakfast or even a midday snack. This staple food contains many positive benefits, including weight loss, brain health and strong bones. They also include many amino acids, such as tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin.
How about fruit? Bananas are great for potassium, which helps fight against strokes, kidney disorders and high blood pressure. Bananas are also filled with the amino acid tryptophan. A great snack to boost our mood for sure!
If you enjoy seafood, salmon is a great go-to for mood-boosting. This fatty fish has omega-3's, which HAVE to be consumed because our bodies don’t produce them at all. Omega-3 fats help fight against depression, which is what we want! This oily fish also contains high levels of tryptophan.
Nuts, which can be eaten by themselves, in salads or in a mix of other snacks, contain healthy levels of tryptophan as well. The nuts that are packed with this amino acid are almonds, cashews, and pistachios.
If you've ever wondered why a box of chocolates is the perfect gift for basically anyone, it's because chocolate scientifically makes us happy! Chocolate is made up of cocoa beans that increase levels of serotonin. Chocolate may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to nutrition, but surprisingly it has some major benefits, such as prevention of heart problems, cancer and stress. Next time you pick up a chocolate bar, don’t feel completely guilty, it could be contributing to your happy mood.
Disclaimer: These foods are not considered to be a quick fix or a cure for unhappiness, but solely a list of foods that contain nutrients that can contribute to happiness.
As mentioned previously, everyone’s way of getting to a state of happiness varies. These are only a few foods you can choose from to incorporate in your diet to increase your mood. They all contain many health benefits, along with the nutrients needed to shift our levels of happiness. After all, a healthy diet is important for our well-being and not just our happiness! However, when you are feeling down, it wouldn’t hurt to give one of these foods a try. If you decide to test them out, let us know your results on Instagram at @thisisuproar.