We all have our good days and our not-so-good days. While it’s important to be grateful for just being alive and try to appreciate even the low days, life is just more fun when you’re happy. I believe happiness is a by-product of health and balance. Yesterday’s Metro helps prove this theory in a great article by Best Health Magazine.
In “True Comfort Food,” 5 different foods are highlighted with supporting study results, proving how nutrition promotes good mental health. The researchers have found that certain foods keep depression at bay, control pain and trigger excitement.
Here the 5 types of foods to put on your weekly grocery list:
- Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important to maintaining mood. They are found in seafood like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Food producers have noted how important these fish oils are to our stressed-out society and have fortified other foods, such as eggs and cereals, with this omega fatty acid. The experts suggest eating fish twice a week and for those with mental conditions, at least 1 gram per day.
- Milk. Ok, I’m not a proponent of cow milk consumption because it does not digest properly in humans and is loaded with hormones which interfere with our natural functioning. By milk, the article means sufficient vitamin D. You can get this vitamin in other nutritional sources, such as fortified food (margarine) and drinks (soy beverage), and occurs naturally in fish, liver and egg yolk. However, if you’re looking for more bang for your buck, get your vitamin D though good old fashioned sunlight.
- Grains and Greens. Folate or vitamin B9 found in lots of good foods like leafy veggies, sunflower seeds, lentils, spinach, berries, oranges and avocados, as well as vitamin B12 (red meat, shellfish, dairy and eggs) and vitamin B6 (bananas, potatoes, whole grains, nuts and veggies) were all found to be important to fighting depression.
- Tea. In a survey of 2,000 Finns, those who drink 1 cup of this cleansing drink were less likely to be depressed and those who drank more than 5 cups reported absolutely no depression! Another miracle nutrient provided by Mother Nature. The Metro article says that studies show the theanine in tea helps facilitate calmness.
- Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Squash. Beta carotene, or the precursor to vitamin A, is found in all your bright orange veggies, yellow and orange fruits (mangoes, papayas and yams) and green leafy veggies, like spinach and kale. This vitamin has been found to boost your brain power by increasing cognition and verbal memory.
It’s interesting how nature has provided everything that we need to not only survive but lead happy and satisfied lives. Other comfort foods like pizza, chips, burgers, fries, creamy soups, insert your own here, increase our moods fabulously… for awhile. But our bodies tend to compensate and the mood rebound makes us crave even more of these comfort foods to get us happy again. Like a crash diet, it’s a yoyo effect.
Do you know of any other foods that naturally enhance our moods?