Can you snack your way to joy? As someone who loves both food and science, I was thrilled to learn that there is a grocery list of foods that will make you feel happier. And best of all, they are scientifically proven to boos your mood. I mean, if the secret to lasting bliss lies at the bottom of an ice cream tub, then this is great news indeed.
But real talk: most of these foods that scientifically make you happier are on the healthier side of things. Fruits and vegetables are featured prominently, along with a few meats. In fact, a true “happy meal” may look a lot greener than the one that normally comes to mind. But the effects on your mood may be significantly better. Comfort food is a real thing, and it doesn’t have to be unhealthy at all.
So the next time you’re feeling a little down, consider reaching for a handful of berries or some dark chocolate. These are just some of the foods that have been linked to mood-boosting benefits. You need to eat anyway, so why not go for foods that can help you bliss out? At the very least, their general tastiness can make you feel a little better. I mean, it’s difficult to feel totally bummed out when you’re savoring a rich bar of dark chocolate.
As Cosmopolitan reported, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries have nutrients such as anthocyanidins and anthocyanins, whcih have been linked to a reduction in stress and depression.
2. Dark Chocolate
According to a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, people who enjoyed a dark chocolate drink every day were happier and calmer than the placebo group who did not receive a chocolate drink. In addition, CNN notes that cocoa can positively affect your brain's serotonin, which may act as a mood stabilizer.
Mushrooms may be an unexpected superfood. Health states that mushrooms are rich in selenium, which may combat depression, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as vitamin D, which has been linked to enhanced moods in people with seasonal affective disorder.
4. Leafy Green Veggies
According to WebMD, mood-boosting B vitamins can also give you increased energy. To get a good dose of vitamin B2, enjoy one cup of cooked spinach, which contains 32 percent of your daily recommended intake.
5. Walnuts And Cashews
In addition to being a great source of protein and fiber, these nuts are loaded with magnesium, which has been linked to lower levels of depression.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may help fight depression, as the Mayo Clinic reports. All the more reason to order the salmon roll next time you're out for sushi.
Psychology Today notes that there has been a link between low vitamin D levels and depression. One egg contains just over ten percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin D, so make sure to stock up on this breakfast staple.
8. Seaweed Salad
This delicious algae is one of the rare sources of iodine, as the Huffington Post reports. Iodine deficiency has been linked to depression and fatigue, so noshing on some nori may help you feel happier.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Greatist notes that sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin B6, which has been known to boost your mood. As the Mayo Clinic notes, vitamin B6 is involved in making serotonin, which may affect mood.
An article in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience demonstrated a correlation between folate deficiency and depression. So a big bowl of lentil soup, which contains 90 percent of your daily folate intake, might help keep the blues away.
Not into lentils? One cup of beets contains 34 percent of your daily recommended intake of folate.