An umbrella term describing positive emotions, being happy is important for overall health. Happy people tend to eat healthier diets, which in turn is associated with health benefits like lower risks of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The United Nations has been celebrating the International Day of Happiness since 2013. The organization recognizes the importance happiness has in the lives of people through this day.
The whiff of a freshly-baked cake to dusting off the crumbs of the last biscuit from your shirt-all lead to a smile playing on your lips. Next time you want to lift up your mood try these seven foods:
1. Dark Chocolate
Feeling sad? Have some chocolates to brighten up the day. Chocolates release compounds such as caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine–which are similar to cannabinoids that improve mood.
Chocolates are also high in health-promoting flavonoids that increase blood flow to the brain and boost brain health.
According to an article published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, chocolate was shown to be either an improvement in mood state or an attenuation of negative mood.
High in vitamin B6, they help the body create dopamine and serotonin, both known to be feel-good neurotransmitters. Also, when eaten with fibre, it releases sugar gradually into the bloodstream allowing for better mood control by stabilising blood sugar levels.
Much like bananas, oats too slow down the digestion of carbs and keep energy levels stable, thus bettering mood.
As per a study by the University of Wales Swansea, those who consumed between 1 and 6 grams of fibre (like oats) at breakfast had better mood and energy levels and were able to properly control mood swings.
Scientists have found that eating more fruits and vegetables lower rates of depression. Berries pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds which battle oxidative stress in the body. They are also high in anthocyanins, which studies say lowers the risk of depression by almost 40%.
If you think you are usually in a foul mood before having your first cup of coffee in the morning, you may not actually be that far away from the truth.
Caffeine in coffee stops adenosine from attaching to the brain, increasing alertness and attention. Adenosine is known to promote tiredness.
A study conducted by Northumbria University in the UK found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee significantly improved mood.
They add tryptophan which produces mood-boosting serotonin. Nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashews, and walnuts are good sources of serotonin.
A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that eating nuts is associated with reduced depression risk.
7. Fatty fish
High in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and tuna contain docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, linked to lower levels of depression. Scientists say that omega-3 fatty acids are associated with reduced depressive symptoms, particularly in females.
So the next time when you are sad you know what is the right food that can help lift your mood.