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.
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 (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.
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.
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 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.
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.