Happiness diet: Seven foods to boost your mood and make you feel better
Did you know there are some really easy dietary measures you can take to help you feel happier and in a more stable mood?
More and more experts are now coming to realize just how important the bacteria flora in our tummies really is for our overall wellbeing, including our moods and mental health. And so if you are feeling a little down, making sure you eat foods that are good for you can be the first step towards starting to feel better.
“Our gut is considered the ‘second brain," nutritional therapist Josh Axe told My Domaine recently. "That's why we often say that we have a ‘gut feeling’ about something. So it stands to reason that the foods we eat play a role in the way we feel.”
What to eat to start feeling happier? These seven are a good place to start:
1. Wild-caught salmon
According to Axe, many who suffer from depression tend to have diets that are low in omega-3 fatty acids. so stocking up on these if you are feeling blue can be a very wise move. Omega-3 fatty acids help your brain function properly by promoting communication and reducing inflammation, and are crucial for optimal brain function.
Wild-caught salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, and other good sources are mackerel, chia seeds and egg yolks.
Nuts are full of good fats, and walnuts, in particular, are a great, vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat as a snack, sprinkle over porridge or rost in the oven with a little maple syrup and sea salt – yum!
Dark, leafy greens, like spinach, are full of folate and act as a natural anti-stress medication. Other good sources of folate are asparagus, avocado, beets, and broccoli.
For antioxidants, eat: blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, cranberries, and artichokes
Antioxidants are vital in keeping our bodies working properly, and blueberries are such a delicious way of making sure you are getting enough of these.
Also, studies have shown that eating sufficient antioxidants significantly reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in a group of individuals.
Sprinkle them on your morning porridge, make a smoothie with them or what about baking some (healthy) blueberry muffins? Either way, these little berries are a nutritional powerhouse.
5. Coconut oil
Fat is your friend, mamas – the good kind of fat, that is. In fact, healthy fats are linked to higher levels of energy and a better mood due to the vitamins and minerals they contain. Additionally, these foods aid in the prevention of free radical damage related to depression.
Great sources of good fats are coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, as well as avocados and walnuts.
We need protein to support neurological function and balance our hormones. “When you don’t eat enough protein, you become fatigued, your immunity weakens, and you experience moodiness,” says Axe. And this is because the amino acids in these foods aid the body in many of its important processes.
We all know lean meat and organic chicken are good, healthy sources of protein, but for an even better-for-you, vegan option, you can't beat lentils.
If you haven't yet heard how important probiotics are for your gut health, you must have been living under a rock of late. These good bacteria help balance out any bad bacteria in our gut, and, according to Axe, when it comes to warding off depression, these foods give you more energy, support your cognitive function, and promote mental wellness. “
You can take a probiotic supplement, of course, but we are loving kefir, a yoghurt-like fermented milk drink that taste perfect in smoothies. You can find it in health food stores or, for a much more reasonable price, in the Polish food section in your local supermarket.