Foods that are guaranteed to boost your mood
On average, many of us have a fairly poor relationship with food. Too often we eat with our eyes and presume our stomach will appreciate an extra indulgent slice of chocolate cake instead of an apple, but this only causes us to feel low and unsatisfied in the long-run. When you start to view food as functional and beneficial to the body, everything can look appetising, even the super healthy stuff! To that end, here are just a few foods guaranteed to result in a happier, healthier you.
It’s all too easy to reach for a chocolate biscuit when you fancy a mid-afternoon treat, but you’ll only come to regret it. Snacking on a few squares of rich dark chocolate instead can just as easily satisfy these sweet cravings and has been medically-proven to offer many great health benefits. Conventional milk and white chocolate is packed with additives that do no good other than give you a temporary high, and the more you consume of it, the lower and more frequently your mood will dip. Look for dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa content instead. Although bitter to the taste at first, genuine dark chocolate satisfies your greed for longer and is packed full of antioxidants to help boost your mood and overall health in the process. A no-brainer!
All tomatoes contain a wonder ingredient known as Lycopene - large quantities of which helps keep our brains fighting fit, which in turn makes us pretty happy. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight inflammation in the brain and even aids in the prevention of various diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease. To get the most out of tomatoes, it is often recommended to eat them with olive oil, as the oil helps increase absorption of the Lycopene. Tomatoes are also best consumed when cooked rather than raw since the Lycopene is more present.
For those who aren’t keen on the red fruit in its natural state, drinking tomato juice can be a great way to get many of the same great nutrients. Tomato juice has many great uses, from an effective hangover cure to a flu-fighting tonic. In its classic form, however, a simple recipe containing onion and Worcester sauce has a powerful effect. When combined, these ingredients have been proven to lower stress signifiers and significantly lower your blood pressure, making for a happy and healthy mind.
A 2008 study into obesity revealed that those who ate eggs for breakfast lost more weight and felt generally more refreshed than those who chose bagels or cereal for their morning meal. As well as being known to provide you with bundles of energy, eggs are nature’s appetite suppressant and their slow release of energy can activate our happy hormone ‘serotonin’. If you believe you can only feel this way munching on chocolate, give eggs a try. The zinc and vitamin B found in eggs alone contribute to reducing cholesterol and sharpening our taste buds - perfect for snack-prone palettes that are less likely to try new or healthy foods.
Asparagus is the dark horse of the vegetable world - not the most widely used ingredient in dishes and yet, it contains cancer-fighting nutrients, can reduce symptoms of depression and can even help slow the ageing process. Asparagus mainly contains Folate and Tryptophan, both of which concern themselves with the brain’s ‘happy sensors’. Tryptophan in particular is used by the brain to create serotonin, which helps stabilise our mood and enables us to make calm, informed decisions when under pressure. The high levels of Folate in asparagus meanwhile can help improve our mental speed and flexibility as we get older. If there’s one thing guaranteed to put a smile on our face, it’s the promise of quick reflexes and a sharp intellect in old age!