I've said this before on a previous post and I'm saying it again: health and fitness probably tops the list of the toughest challenges many has to struggle with at one point or another. So for people having difficulty sustaining a healthy diet, here's a list I made that's sure to make all of us not just healthier but also happier. Add these to your menu, and let's all eat our way to a healthier and happier lifestyle!
My Top 10 Mood Boosters
BANANAS - this fruit contains the amino acid tryptophan that's responsible for producing serotonin in the body. Serotonin, also known as the 'happy hormone,' greatly influences a person's overall well-being as it helps regulate moods, temper anxiety and relieve depression. Bananas are also rich in potassium. The body's potassium level rapidly depletes during periods of high stress, thus, eating bananas is a healthy way to re-balance the body's potassium level without using drugs. On top of that, as stress is closely linked with magnesium deficiency, bananas are a great way to pile up on magnesium and avoid stress. So go eat some more bananas and feel good about yourself. ☺
*Read more on the health benefits of bananas here.
CHILLI - this little fruit contains capsaicin which stimulates the mouth's tiny nerve endings and brings that exciting burning sensation. In response to this burning sensation, the brain releases endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Endorphins, among its many functions, controls feelings of stress and frustrations. So with high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and experience fewer negative effects of stress.
*Read more on the health benefits of chillies here.
EGGS - apart from being a good source of protein (as you know, the structure of humans and animals are built on protein), eggs are a good source of many different and significant nutrients. The egg yolk is rich in Vitamin D which increases the body's serotonin level. As mentioned earlier, this happy hormone called serotonin regulates our mood and an extra dose is just might be what we need for a happy day. Furthermore, eggs contains a significant amount of choline that's good for our brain's health, the nervous system and our heart.
LENTILS - rich in fiber, good source of protein, and an excellent source of folate. People suffering from depression are known to have low levels of folate -- so fight off the blues with these small but mighty member of the legume family which is also a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. And don't forget that lentils are also good for the heart as well as rich in Iron which helps reduce fatigue.
*Read more on the health benefits of lentils here.
OATS - packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, oats are truly one of nature's super-foods. Oats are unique because they have both soluble and insoluble fiber and among all the grains, oats have the highest soluble fiber content which is especially helpful against heart disease and can help moderate blood sugars. Stable blood sugar level is important to maintain a stable mood. Oats also have a significant amount of selenium which can help boost our mood by regulating the function of the thyroid gland.
SPINACH - this bright and vibrant leafy vegetable will not only make you big and strong like Popeye, but thanks to its large amount of Vitamin K, it's also a brain food that enhances the health of the nervous system and improves brain functions. It also has a significant amount of folate and other B vitamins which is important in the serotonin production of the body. Depression is closely linked to certain deficiencies in B vitamins so eating leafy green veggies such as spinach can keep our serotonin level up.
TURKEY - a rich source of protein and without the skin, this white meat is low in fat too! Turkey is a rich source of many nutrients including the amino acid called tyrosine which can help reduce symptoms of depression as well as help avoid feeling the blues in the first place. Turkey meat also contains tryptophan. Our body uses tryptophan to make serotonin – one of the most important neurotransmitters affecting mood, as well as to make the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate sleep.
WALNUTS - these nuts are a rich source of energy and contains many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Walnuts also has high levels of omega-3 which helps with the body's mental performance and have been known to be beneficial for alleviating depression.
WILD SALMON - aside from being a rich source of high-quality protein, wild salmon is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and one of the few food sources naturally rich in Vitamin D. Research have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is closely linked with many diseases like cancer, osteoporosis and depression. Vitamin D helps the body manufacture more serotonin for a happier, better mood. Wild salmon is also a rich source of vitamin B12 which is essential for the nervous system. A study also showed that selenium deprivation can lead to depression -- the good news is, wild salmon is quite an excellent supplier of selenium. Awesome!
|Yeah, Patchi and belgian chocolates aren't exactly dark chocolates, but hey, I like them a lot, LOL!|
DARK CHOCOLATES - saving the best for last, not only are they a delicious treat, but these wonderful stuff can also give our moods a happy swing. A Reader's Digest article said that dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, the chemicals in our brain that causes our feelings of pleasure. It also contains the serotonin, which of course as mentioned earlier, acts as an anti-depressant.
And yeah, don't forget to get your daily dose of water. Water is extremely important for our bodies to function properly. Even the smallest degree of dehydration can impair our physical and mental well-being. Besides, we also need water for a better metabolism.
There you go, hope you learned something from this list. I spent quite a while collating all the information but I think it was worth the effort because I also learned important stuff while I was writing this post. Thank you guys for dropping by and give me a piece of your thoughts on the comments' section below.
Until my next wandering!
*This list was inspired by an article I found on netdoctor.
*Facts were gathered from the Internet with a link back to the source within the article.
*Except for the last photo, all other images on this post were taken from Google Image search.