Munch away the winter blues with these 5 foods that make you happy. Make up some new recipes by adding some of these happy foods into your diet and watch as your good mood and energy increases.
- Chocolate. Ask every chocoholic and they will all answer the same. Chocolate makes them happy. The secret is the ability to help the brain release endorphins (also known as the happy chemical) shortly after intake. It also contains a high level of antioxidants which boost mood. However, this quick fix comes with a warning; its high content in calories. So use chocolate in moderation, while it gives you an euphoric feeling, it can also give you extra pounds. Save it for an occasional treat and see how chocolate makes you happy.
- Walnuts. Go nuts when eating walnuts. They are rich in proteins, B vitamins and selenium. They are also an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. People with low levels of these acids are more prone to suffer from depression and negative outlook. Just a quarter of a cup of walnuts will give you 95% of the recommended daily value of omega-3s. Substitute your high calorie content salad croutons for these energy gems or munch them while on your way to work.
- Oranges. The glass of fresh squeezed orange juice that you take every morning could be the key to your happiness. Oranges, like all citrus fruits and berries, have a high content in vitamin C, which promotes the release of endorphins. These neurotransmitters have been found to act similarly to drugs like morphine and codeine. A high level of endorphins means that our feeling of pain decrease. At the same time, our bodies increase the release of sex hormones and the feeling of euphoria.
- Mackerel. Fish, specially mackerel, is an excellent source of the Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). This acid is the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. While it inhibits over excitation it also helps induce relaxation and sleep, balancing your mood. Mackerel is also rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help having a more positive outlook. Mackerel works well added on salads in the summer or cook them with rice in the winter.
- Lentils. Lentils, like other pulse foods have a high content of iron. Iron deficiency symptoms are not only fatigue, irritability and weakness but also the so much feared hair loss. Boost up your mood by boosting up your iron intake and while you are at it, fight hair loss. Adding lentils to your diet might not sound too tempting but try to add them into your pasta sauce (yes, really) or make a lentil curry.