You may think a slice of pizza or a bowl of chips will cheer you up. But the truth is that if you’re looking for more sustainable boosts to your emotional well-being, there are better ways to eat yourself happy. There are food items that have been clinically proven to fight depression, lift energy, ease anxiety and generally make you feel good.
On World Smile Day, October 5, here are five mood-boosting foods that can influence your brain in a consistent, positive way and help cheer you up:
There’s a very good reason we feel a bit happier after indulging in a piece or two. Chocolate releases mood-elevating chemicals, like theobromine, tyrosine, and tryptophan (serotonin), according to a study in National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Aside from their many health benefits, bananas can be eaten to treat PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms or depression. The yellow fruit is high in tryptophan, which converts to serotonin — the mood lifting neurotransmitter — according to a study by the University of Maryland Medical Center. And, can also stablilise blood sugar and help you to relax.
The probiotics found in yoghurt, aren’t just great for the stomach and immune health. They can also affect your brain functioning, increasing the mood-boosting neurotransmitters, says a study by NCBI.
Taking a sip of green tea will instantly give you that “ahh” feeling. Its L-theanine (amino acids) properties will help to calm and relax you. It can also help to improve mental fog. So if you’re feeling a little low today, it’s time to unwind.
A serving of lentils everyday can increase your body’s serotonin levels, allowing you to relax and feel happy, says a report in Psychology Today. They’re also very high in iron, responsible for your day-to-day energy levels.