Eating For Happiness
The food we eat every day has the power to impact our whole being. From our health to our energy and thoughts, what enters our system has a much bigger impact than what we often believe.
So how can we purposely make sure we are eating for happiness, or to make sure our food supports our happiness level?
Even-though everyone has a different vision of happiness, it all starts from the inside. Let’s first have a look at how happiness can be defined….
Happiness is a state of contentment and satisfaction that doesn’t actually require any external stimulus. Everything can be explained by the chemistry happening in our brain.
However our external environment can impact our happiness by modifying the chemical reactions happening in our body and brain. The interesting point here is that you can actually consciously choose to experiment with that to boost your mood and happiness in your day to day life.
Many factors can be taken into consideration, such as your physical and social activities, your hobbies, your professional life etc. And this is also the case with the food we choose to eat.
Everyone should be able to improve their own happiness by paying attention to what they eat. Having experienced it first hand myself, I am now totally fascinated to observe this in my coaching practice too. For all my clients, we’ve been able to revert depression by just the simple fact of changing the way they were nourishing themselves.
It seems that when you truly give your body and brain what they need to perform properly, depression and mood swings disappear naturally. At the same time, restricting your food intake or depriving your body from specific nutrients for too long, will automatically take you back to a darker place. This is what usually happens with people suffering from eating disorders or even chronic dieting.
While a balanced diet is required to improve your mood and happiness, some specific foods can directly improve the happiness chemistry in your brain. These foods are the ones that are able to boost the production of certain neurotransmitters in your system (like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin).
These foods will help you to boost your happiness and include:
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains resveratrol, which boost our endorphins and serotonin levels. Ensure you choose dark chocolate with the highest content of cacao possible (at least 85%).
Here are some amazing raw dark chocolate recipes to get you started:
2. Protein foods
Foods like eggs and lean meats (fish, poultry, red meat).
Eating clean proteins will help trigger dopamine production and stimulate your metabolism. Fish has the added benefit of being high in Omega 3 fats, which contributes to brain function. Try to buy organic versions that are free from antibiotics, hormones and pesticides.
Here are some delicious, high protein recipes to help you out:
3. Folate rich foods
Like leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower.
Folate helps produce dopamine and eating them raw gives you adequate amounts of the nutrients. Lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and papaya also contain folate. Try to choose organic when possible.
Here are some great recipes to help you get some folate rich foods:
4. Fruits high in Amino Acids
Like bananas, blueberries, strawberries and prunes.
These fruits contain a chemical called tyrosine which prompts dopamine production in your brain.
Here are some amino acids rich recipes to help you out:
5. Foods high in antioxidants
Such as berries, apples, plums, etc.
Antioxidants reduce free-radicals that can hinder the production of happy chemicals in our body.
Here are some yummy antioxidants rich recipes:
Adding all these fresh foods through healthy and easy recipes on a daily basis to your diet will help you regulate your mood and happiness. You can also check out my 8 best superfoods that will help you boost your mood and energy easily.
On top of that, it’s also very important to have a lifestyle that supports these dietary ‘add-on’s’, such as:
- Good quality sleep
- Reducing stimulants (coffee, alcohol)
- Enjoying moderate exercise