It’s dependable fact that food makes us happy—particularly pizza, tacos, and anything containing chocolate. But a growing body of research proposes that what we put into our bodies has an immeasurable affect on our moods; one that extends beyond flavor and physical satisfaction. In other words, it is conceivable to eat your way to happiness and peace of mind, so to speak.

Bananas:

Everyone knows bananas are full of potassium, but what you may not know is that they also contain tryptophan, a brain chemical that helps to regulate mood. Bananas are also a good source of B vitamin folate, and having low levels of the vitamin has been linked to depression.

Wild-caught salmon:

Wild-caught salmon (instead of farm-raised) contains 11 of the “most vital vitamins and minerals for making us happy”. With omega-3s, vitamin B12, and magnesium, fresh salmon can help treat depression, enhance brain health, and ease anxiety.

Watermelon:

Lycopene, the ingredient in charge making watermelon red, also keeps your mood elevated and your skin looking youthful. Health benefits aside, watermelon is also a tasty, low-calorie snack and wonderful addition to any eating routine.

Jalapeños:

After consuming capsaicin, the spicy ingredient in jalapeños, our bodies actually release endorphins and experience a feeling of euphoria similar to a runner’s high. Besides, capsaicin can likewise prevent cancer and protect the brain during liver failure.

Butternut squash:

Butternut squash contains an ingredient called betain, which helps in the production of the natural antidepressant SAM-e in the brain. It’s also used as a healthy pasta alternative if you’d like to avoid a post-dinner carb coma.

Garlic:

While we strongly advise against eating garlic raw, the vegetable is packed with a mineral called chromium, colloquially known as “natural Prozac.” Chromium naturally controls serotonin levels, which can help lessen pain and advance a calm mental state. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything we need.