In America’s society, food often accompanies people’s moods. Whether they are celebrating, grieving, nervous or bored, food is constantly around. Usually it consists of junk food that provides no nutritional benefit to their body—it just tastes good.
This is a problem throughout the country. Individuals are becoming obese because of “emotional eating.” They eat and they eat a lot to make themselves happy. There are plenty of ways they can make their diet healthy and improve their mood—they just need to know the right foods to eat.
Many foods contain chemicals that cause the release of “happy hormones.” A chemical that does this is tryptophan. It causes the release of serotonin, a chemical that makes humans relaxed and happy.
This can be found in foods that are high in protein, like milk and turkey. Milk also contains antioxidants, vitamin D and vitamin B12, all substances that help with combating stress. Bananas also contain tryptophan Eating food that contains tryptophan will contribute to one’s general well being while providing additional nutritional benefits.
Dark chocolate is a great food to eat in moderation if you’re feeling down. It contains a chemical called anadamine which is produced by the brain and brightens our mood.
There are other chemicals in chocolate that cause anadamine to last longer, contributing to its positive effect. Sugar is usually found in chocolate and boosts endorphin levels which also make us happy—but eating too much sugar could cause the opposite affect so it should be limited.
Nuts are considered a “super-food” because they are rich in protein, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to increase blood flow to the brain, improving its ability to function efficiently. They also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that reduces stress. Even better—you only have to eat about an ounce of nuts a day to benefit from their nutrients!
It is a proven fact that drinking coffee can significantly improve one’s mood. But in order for coffee to be beneficial, it should be plain. No sugar, no cream. It can have the opposite affect if you drink too much, so one or two cups a day is fine. Coffee contains caffeine which boosts your energy levels, keeps you alert and can improve your memory. It also contains antioxidants that help to improve your mood.
Leafy green vegetables are incredibly helpful with improving individuals’ moods. Spinach and broccoli contain B vitamins that assist with producing serotonin, the happy chemical mentioned previously. B vitamins are also stress reducers and antioxidants that provide other health benefits. The folic acid in broccoli has also been shown to improve temperament.
So, next time you’re having a bad day…think before you indulge in that bag of Doritos, candy or ice cream. There are a countless number of foods that can make you happy and provide your body with so many other benefits. Comfort foods (like junk food) are okay in moderation, but they will just come back to haunt you if you stuff yourself every time you’re feeling unhappy. Think before you eat and your mood will definitely improve!
Brianna Elliott is a freelance writer for PSCLife.com – a web-based retailer of Prozyme’s TymeZyme enzyme supplement for athletes, adults, and seniors which has been documented to quicken the body’s healing and recovery response time.