Are you feeling bummed, down-and-out, depressed? Is it time to eat and you’re tempted to grab some fast food or carry out? Although it may sound tasty, processed food that’s high in calories, fats, cholesterol, salt and carbohydrates will fill your stomach, but it won’t help improve your mood. It may make you feel even worse. Instead, why not head to the kitchen and fix yourself some uplifting food?
Read this informative article and find out how to make yourself “Happy Meals” at home.
1. Eat Plenty of Protein
Examples of good protein foods to include in your meal include poultry, seafood, fish, low-fat yogurt, veal, pork tenderloin, lean red meat, tofu and eggs. Proteins contain amino acids. One in particular, tyrosine, increases the production of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help improve your mood. Protein also helps regulate your blood sugar level so it doesn’t drop too low or raise too high.
2. Choose Foods That Are High in Omega-3
Foods that are high in omega-3 fats include salmon, mackerel, sardines, olive oil, canola oil, walnuts and eggs. Include plenty of omega-3s in your diet and they can help the communication of neurons in your brain. The result? You’ll feel better and happier.
3. Eat Foods That Contain Vitamin B-6
B-6 helps you beat the blues because it keeps the neurotransmitters in your brain balanced. When they’re at an even keel, so is your mood. Examples of foods that contain high amounts of vitamin B-6 are sweet potatoes, spinach, bell peppers, baked potatoes, green peas, broccoli, asparagus, turnip greens,
avocados, navy beans and bananas.
4. Vitamin D to the Rescue
Another way to make yourself “Happy Meals” at home is to make sure you include plenty of vitamin D in your diet. This vitamin has been shown to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain. This, in turn,
helps you feel happier. Eating plenty of salmon, tuna, mackerel, fat- free and low-fat milk, fortified soy milk and egg yolks also helps beat the winter blues.
5. Enjoy Mood-Enhancing Carbohydrates
Your feel-good menu should also include “healthy” carbohydrates. Not refined carbohydrates like candy, white bread, crackers or white rice. Instead, choose foods like fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and oatmeal. Carbohydrates produce tryptophan which produces serotonin. You’ll feel calmer and more relaxed when you eat them.