Be Merry — 10 Foods that Boost Happiness

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Photo: Huffingtonpost.co.uk

Photo: Huffingtonpost.co.uk

Sure, there’s no surefire way to be happy, but we have all experienced first-hand just how much our diet can affect our moods. I mean, Thanksgiving was just last week! And with more and more studies, articles, and documentaries coming out everyday touting a new superfood, we want to know, what are some simple ways we can change for the better? Well, I’ve done the research and here’s a list of the top 10 foods that will help bring a smile to your lips and who knows, might even brighten your outlook on life.

Walnuts

Photo: Caloriesin.us

Photo: Caloriesin.us

These brain-shaped nuts aren’t only tasty, they contain super high levels of Omega-3s fatty acids and Magnesium, both of which are converted into mood-influencing hormone Serotonin in—where else?—the brain. In fact, almost all raw, unsalted nuts (and seeds) are protein packed and carry the healthy oils that your body needs.

Cherry Tomatoes

latinfood.about.com

Photo: Latinfood.about.com

Lycopene promotes brain health by reducing brain inflammation commonly linked with depression. You can find lycopene in all tomatoes, but be sure to munch on them with plenty of olive oil, which helps in the absorption of this powerful antioxidant.

Avocado

Photo: Eatdrinkpretty.com

Photo:
Eatdrinkpretty.com

My favorite green treat, avocados, are known for their Vitamin B3 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Both are linked to Serotonin boosting effects as well as healthy brain function. Go for sweet! Avocados are surprisingly delicious in smoothies and desserts.

Spinach

theteacupdiary.wordpress.com

Photo: Theteacupdiary.wordpress.com

Dark leafy greens like spinach and swiss chard, are packed with Magnesium and Phenylethylamine giving those that eat it, a natural high without any of the nasty pharmaceutical side effects.

Dark Chocolate

Photo: Elywinebar.wordpress.com

Photo: Elywinebar.wordpress.com

High in the amino acid Phenyalanine and antioxidant Flavonoids, eating dark chocolate naturally raises your Dopamine levels as well as fighting free radicals. Stay away from milk chocolate and instead reach for the bar with at least 85% cacao solids.

Asparagus

Photo: Esorbogazici.com

Photo: Esorbogazici.com

Low levels of folate have been linked with depression, so replenish fallen levels with lots of bright green asparagus stalks. Plus asparagus has healthy doses of Typotophan, a natural Serotonin booster. We love our Serotonin!

Coconut

Photo: Onjacksonstreet.com

Photo: Onjacksonstreet.com

Coconut meat and oil contain medium-chain Triglycerides that are easily absorbed by the body. Eating this hearty fruit promotes excess calorie burning and overall, better moods. Just remember, we’re not talking about reaching for the coconut rum.

Blue Potatoes

Photo: Thewellseasonedcook.blogspot.com

Photo: Thewellseasonedcook.blogspot.com

Unless you live adventurously, chances are you haven’t eaten blue potatoes. But within these funny looking spuds lies amazing antioxidants called Anthocyanins that fight brain inflammation and memory loss. Even the peel is good for you!

Bananas

Photo: Bubblews.com

Photo: Bubblews.com

Chock full of healthy Carbohydrates and Tryptophan, bananas are a great go-to snack to bump up your energy and Serotonin levels. Especially, post-workout!

And, Pizza?

Photo: Jennysteffens.blogspot.com

Photo: Jennysteffens.blogspot.com

Lest us forget that sometimes when it comes to self-care, indulging every once in awhile is not only okay, but a necessity. After all, happiness is a balancing act.

 

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