We’ve talked about foods that increase your metabolism, but what about foods that might just have the ability to increase your happiness and lift your spirits? Many people don’t realize how tightly connected our moods can be to the kind of food we eat, but there’s been oodles of research showing that’s exactly the case.
When those long winter nights just won’t seem to quit, try incorporating a few of the foods on this list into your diet (or increase the amount), and see if things don’t get a little brighter!
This leafy green vegetable is packed with magnesium, an essential nutrient for the brain that has been shown to boost energy levels. There’s even been research that shows a deficiency in magnesium may even be one of the reasons certain people are diagnosed with clinical depression.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy the benefits of chard is through our Kumquat Cantaloupe smoothie.
As if you needed another reason to eat chocolate! Dark chocolate, delicious in its own right, also stimulates the production of endorphins, which bring on feelings of pleasure. Additionally, dark chocolate contains the chemical serotonin, which may act as a natural anti-depressant. So, chocaholics rejoice and eat your chocolate with confidence!
For the happiest start to your day, try our Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup smoothie.
Greek yogurt is rich, creamy, and packed with protein. Eating protein can raise levels of dopamine and norepinepehrine, two mood-boosting neurotransmitters in your brain. With twice as much protein as regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. And if the protein doesn’t do it for you, Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, which will keep your digestion regular, giving you yet another reason to smile.
This vegetable is an excellent source of tryptophan, which plays a major role in the creation of serotonin, one of the brain’s primary mood-regulating neurotransmitters. In addition to tryptophan, asparagus also contains high levels of folate, which has been shown to ward off depression.
The taste alone of this sweet treat will bring a smile to your face. But honey is also packed with beneficial compounds such as quercetin and kaempferol that help clean up the free radicals and reduce inflammation. Reducing inflammation is essential to maintaining a healthy brain. A healthy brain equals a happy you. No wonder Winnie the Pooh loved his honey!
For a sweet morning try our Honey Rose Petal smoothie.
Oats aren’t just a comfort food, they’ve also been shown to be an effective mood booster. Because of their low glycemic index, they slowly release energy into the bloodstream, helping to stabilize your blood sugar, which in turn helps to level out your mood. Oats also contain selenium, which can double the mood-boosting benefits by regulating the vital functions of the thyroid gland.
Start your day off right with a bowl of oatmeal or blend up our Pecan Protein Oatmeal smoothie.
Popeye ate this green veggie to be strong, now you can eat it to be happy! This dark leafy green is filled with folic acid, antioxidants, and magnesium, all of which are linked to a good mood. Magnesium is a precursor to serotonin production, so getting an adequate amount is essential to happiness. Good thing spinach is one of the best natural sources of this mineral out there!
One of the tastiest ways to eat your spinach has got to be our Spinach Pineapple Bananza smoothie.
Bananas add a sweetness to smoothies, and they also offer serious mood-lifting power. Bananas are an excellent source of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates, all of which work together to keep you your happiest. The carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into mood-lifting serotonin. With their significant iron content, bananas also provide energy and help fight fatigue.
Keep up your energy and your mood and sip on our Banana Pancakes smoothie.
These sweet berries aren’t just delicious, they’re also high in vitamin C, which has serious immune-boosting and mood-boosting power. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to decrease depressive symptoms by helping your body stop the buildup of free radicals and recover faster from stress.
Start your day off stress free and try our Strawberry Carrot Creamsicle smoothie recipe.
Walnuts are among the healthiest of nuts, containing an extremely high dose of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to ward off depression. Walnuts also contain antioxidants and essential fatty acids that promote brain health and cognition. Some researchers even believe that a serving of walnuts a day can help with staying focused, alert, and with memory. That should definitely make you happy!
Drink our Purple Kumquat Cantaloupe smoothie and smile all day!