15 Foods Sure To Make You Happy And Reduce Stress
It’s a strange human tendency to binge eat while stressed out or super worried about anything. A survey revealed in US 40% of adults tends to overeat while under work or study pressure. But the actual problem does not lie in eating but the kind of food which is being consumed, which is always junk food. This is the reason why binge eating or stress eating can be dangerous in more than one way. And yes we are not just talking about weight gain only.
Don’t gorge on the wrong food when depressed
People suffering from depression often have to struggle against a larger waistline too as there are quite a number who resort to eating instead. This leads to abdominal fat, oxidative damage and more insulin resistance. Rather than resort to junk food, feast on these 15 foods to make you happy and improve your mood. You’ll be surprised that such items exist because there are foods scientifically proven to improve mood and make you feel happier.
1 Alaskan Salmon
Well even if you do not manage an actual Alaskan salmon, there are many great varieties of salmon available in any fish market. Make an effort to get to your local fish market a get catch of the day. Salmon like its sea buddies anchovies and sardines have krill oils, omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA which helps in maintain a healthy emotional equilibrium. In fact, one study proved that omega 3 supplements taken by medical students decreased anxiety 20%. It can combat early signs of depression as well.
Not only pistachios are tasty snacks to be kept handy while studying or watching a stressful football match, but 2 servings a day can lower your vascular constrictions which is typical during stress. In simpler terms, pistachios reduce the load on our hearts since our arteries are more dilated. Some even find the rhythmic act of shelling pistachios and crunching them ….well therapeutic, as it’s a repetitive action which slows the racing negative thoughts in our heads.
But always buy fresh organic ones as the dyed or bleached pistachios are at high risk of carrying aflatoxin, a carcinogenic mould.
3 Dark Chocolates
It is acknowledged that a bite of unadulterated dark chocolate makes you happy, contented or even satiated. These are not mere imaginary feelings but have a strong medical backing to support it. Every time we bite into a luscious chocolate, anandamide, a neurotransmitter is produced which temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. In fact, the word itself is derived from a Sanskrit word”bliss”. Along with other chemicals this “feel good” aspect of chocolate is not short-lived but prolonged.
This is why the journal of psychopharmacology states that eating or drinking at least 1.5 ounces of chocolate daily will make you calmer, no wonder it’s referred to as the “The New Anti-Anxiety Drug”.
The antioxidants present in blue and blackberries called Anthocyanins are small pigments which give these fruits their deep rich colors. The same antioxidants aid in the greater production of dopamine. It’s a chemical which is critical to mood balance and memory functions. In addition to this blueberry eaters experience a sharp increase in the production of killer cells (a type of white blood cells) which fortifies our immunity towards stress.
The avocado is a super food in its truest sense as it alone contains 20 different essential heath boosting nutrients, including potassium, Vitamin b, E and folate. According to research conducted eating just half of fresh avocado will fill you and curb your food craving for many hours. Besides managing your waistline avocadoes regulates the sugar levels which would directly mean steady mood even under stress.
Organic turkey breast is the best source of tryptophan-an amino acid which is basically a protein building block and helps your body to convert it into serotonin. Studies have revealed that argumentative or quarrelsome behavior in people can be reduced by increasing dosages of tryptophan. Pumpkin seeds, nuts can also furnish our body with the same amino acids.
unhealthy bacteria infesting your gut can be very detrimental to your physical as well as mental well being as it often leads to issues such as anxiety and depression where as on the other hand good bacteria can be beneficial by directly affecting its chemistry, transmitting mood-and behavior-regulating- signals to your brain via vagus nerves.
In fact, it had been discovered that probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus has a marked effect on the GABA levels in the certain regions of our brain which further aids in lowering the stress-inducing hormone called corticosterone, obviously resulting in lower anxiety-depression related issues.
Organic or homemade yogurt, fermented food and vegetables improve gut health, because toxicity in the gut has the propensity to flow throughout your body and brain where it can trigger mood swings, depression, ADHD, serious conditions like autism and schizophrenia! Gut flora should be nourished by healthy eating with prebiotics and probiotics.
8Green Leafy Vegetables
Well, this one is a no brainer among foods to make you happy. We have been taught from our pre-school days to have a lot of green leafy vegetables in our meals and not without any reason. Now that we are all grownups we must understand the science behind it. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, for instance, are rich in Folate, which in return helps your body produce serotonin and dopamine which are actually mood regulatory neurotransmitters.
In fact a medical study conducted in 2012 even went ahead to prove that people eating more folate have lower risk of depression. Moreover, young adults can calm their nerves by eating fresh fruits and vegetables (NOT their commercial juice versions) and keep their energy levels high and happy.
Magnesium deficiency in our body triggers 22 different medical conditions in which panic attacks, anxiety and depression are the deadliest ones. Magnesium acts as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulates our emotional balance. Seaweed, green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chards along with beans, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and avocado contain high amount of magnesium required for mental wellbeing. Fresh vegetable juice with these added seeds and nuts can be the best way to incorporate magnesium in our diets.
Green tea immediately starts soothing frayed nerves and stressed out mind because of its rich anti-oxidants content and anti-inflammatory effects makes you calm and relaxed to face on any challenge.
11 Whole grain Carbohydrates
Do you really love pasta or rice? Does a bowl steaming brown rice make you smile? Well, there is a scientific reason why you feel that way. Whole wheat carbohydrates increase the production of Serotonin or “Happy-hormones” in our body, which naturally keeps anxiety, stress and depression away from you. Moreover, it also contains Folate, another essential nutrient which augments the happiness levels in our mind. Oatmeal with multigrain toast and eggs is a sure shot breakfast to boost your mood.
Chamomile tea has a calming and a sedative effect, which automatically makes it your best weapon to guard against any sort of panic attacks or anxiety issues, plus it tastes divine too!
Traditionally we all have been encouraged to have eggs in our breakfast since our school days and there is logic behind it. Its rich protein content boosts immunity as well as reduces the risks of panic attacks. Also if eaten regularly it can actually help de-stress you and improve mood. Eggs contain an amino acid called Cysteine linked to the improvement of depression and bipolar disorder.
Among foods to make you happy, almonds increase your natural serotonin levels and can also relax your mind by making it calmer and less stressed. Take 2-3 almonds before your breakfast, so that you can defeat the stress throughout the day.
Pineapples contain a god amount of bromelian which is a protein that reduces chemo side effects. It also suppresses coughs and has anti-inflammatory properties. Pineapple also increases serotonin and melatonin both of which improve mood, make you happier and help you sleep.