Happy Foods: What is your food doing to your mood?

While most people are aware that medication can help alter their moods, many people prefer a more natural approach – finding foods which can make them happy rather than turning to medication. You may be surprised at the number of happy foods you have available to you right now.

A quick tour of your kitchen or local grocers’ can help you find a few key items which can assist in triggering your brain into happiness, without the need for medication. Many of the most common “comfort” foods also contain multiple nutrients known to uplift moods and general state of mind. These are omega-3 fats, folic acid, vitamin B12 as well as selenium.

These “happy foods” might be in your pantry right now…

Oily fish – The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are also very helpful for lifting your mood. Most fish also contain loads of vitamin B6 and B12, which are involved in producing serotonin. Whether you get your omega-3s from food or supplements, you’re not only working toward a better mood, but you’re caring for your heart and brain as well.

Bananas – The protein tryptophan which the body converts into serotonin is also found in bananas. In addition, bananas contain carbohydrates which boost our energy. As an added health bonus, the potassium content in bananas is great for people who exercise a lot, and they can even help prevent cramps.

Chocolate – Containing anadamine, chocolate is definitely an easy to handle remedy for improving your mood. Some believe that other chemicals in chocolate may even cause the anadamine to remain in the brain longer, enhancing the positive effects. The sugar also boosts the level of endorphins in your system, adding to the feeling of happiness. Experts recommend eating a small amount of dark chocolate to achieve these effects.

Maybe you didn’t realize you could change your mood by consuming these and other ‘happy foods’.

In many cases, choosing these foods could mean the difference between having a brief episode of unhappiness, or more serious blues and taking medication for an extended period of time. Certainly these dietary choices are the easier and more interesting than taking a pill

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About Brian

A few years ago I had gotten really sick with a mystery infection that put me in the hospital for over a week. When I got home I wasn't much better off. I had to have foot surgery and was laid up on the sofa for awhile. In that time I watched alot of Food Network and really gained a passion for food and it's preparation, cooking for my family was something I could still do even when I wasn't feeling my best and it was a way to help myself reach a healthier goal as well. Now I find myself always looking for healthier options that still taste wonderful and with my wifes gluten allergy I have even more of a challenge of feeding everyone. Honestly ... I am loving every minute of it. Because my kitchen has become my place of Zen.

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