There has always been a correlation between food and happiness. Some people eat to feel better; some people simply understand that eating makes them feel good, although they won’t specifically seek out that ‘high’. Some people find that one food boosts their mood, whereas others find it’s something else. So, although scientists know that food can make us feel great (and not so great), exactly which foods do this is still being determined.
Although, to some extent, it seems as though different foods affect people in different ways, there are some foods that are universally good for improving your mood and making you feel happy. Here are some of them. Remember, though, they should all be eaten in moderation, as too much of anything is bad for you.
All chocolate will make us feel good thanks to the sugars within in – not to mention the fact that it tastes good, which lights up the reward system in the brain and sends out serotonin (the happy hormone) into the body.
However, if you choose a particular type of chocolate that will benefit you more than others, dark chocolate is the answer; it contains antioxidants and reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. For the very best results, you should choose something with at least seventy percent cacao in it. To determine what chocolate you like the best and what’s going to help you feel good, you can organize a virtual chocolate tasting and really get a feel for what works for you.
The one thing that most people know about bananas is that they are full of potassium, and getting more potassium in your diet is a positive thing; potassium ensures your heart beats in a regular pattern, it helps the muscles contract more easily, and it separates useful nutrients from waste products in the food we eat.
However, more than potassium, bananas also contain tryptophan. This is a chemical that regulates mood, and when you consume additional amounts of it, you will feel good. On top of that, bananas contain a good level of vitamin B folate.
If yogurt doesn’t feature in your diet in some way – either as an addition to smoothies, as an ingredient in cooking, or even on its own – then you’re missing out on a type of food that is sure to make you feel happy.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are bacteria that live in our guts and help ensure digestion quickly. They also clean our intestines, keeping up healthier. As well as this, probiotics calm us, which is why, when you consume yogurt, you’ll feel much better right away, and your mood will improve.
Coconuts are full of triglycerides, which are fats that improve mood. The only problem is that when people think of coconuts, they think of high-calorie cocktails or sugary desserts, and the poor health benefits outweigh the good ones.
However, you don’t have to eat badly just to get coconut into your diet. You can use coconut milk to make a low-fat curry; for example, add coconut flakes (unsweetened) to your healthy cereal, or even just eat it raw.