Foods That Make You Happy

57You have heard the famous saying, “You are what you eat”. How true this rings even today, and indeed is proved right time and again. It is a given that good, healthy food shows on your face, while junk food makes you appear gloomy and low. Not only this, the food you eat has a lot to do with the way you feel and the amount of energy your body exudes.

Studies show that many foods influence the levels of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) which are responsible for controlling the ‘mood swings’ of a person. It has been established that the neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are associated with mood changes.

So, now you know what you need to do if you find yourself constantly low on energy and enthusiasm. Simply gorge on these foods that boost your stamina and get you go

 Foods that influence Your Moods (Short term)

What do you reach out for when you are tired, restless or irritated? Most often you opt for a chocolate, soft drink, tea, coffee, beer or anything that simply peps you up, right? Well, this is what most of us do. And one of the pressing reasons for this, say experts, is that whenever we are feeling low, we crave for sugars that can provide us with an instant burst of energy or we reach out for stimulants.

Though foods that are high in sugar levels are quick fixes when one is feeling low, after a spurt of the feel-good factor, they cause rebound lows or depression. Also, once you consume these, the system craves for more, eventually leading to addictions.

When you are low, what can you do?

Eat whole wheat bread or whole grain rotis or pasta, oats porridge, whole fruits (not fruit juices) and these can be accompanied with honey, fruit pulps, as these are nutritionally better than sugar.

Certain foods may not agree with your system and may cause a disturbance with digestion. This will in turn influence your mood and overall health. Hence, it is advisable to maintain a food diary for a few days and identify foods that your system doesn’t tolerate or finds difficult to digest.

White bread, deep fried foods, beans, very spicy foods, excessive tea and coffee, soft drinks are few of the common culprits.

Carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates when consumed in proper portions are good for overall wellbeing. Too much of protein rich foods and fatty foods with too little carbohydrates in your diet will lead to an interference in the serotonin release, thereby causing depression.

Frequent fasting and long intervals between two meals, very often lead to overeating, and the food does not get digested easily. This is also a cause for lethargy and restlessness.

Hence, small amounts of food should be consumed at every four hour interval. And importantly, breakfast should never be missed.

Foods that influence Your Moods (Long term)

Various nutrients are required by the body to be able to function to its optimum levels. Absence of a balanced diet results in deficiencies that cause tiredness, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety and depression.

Iron

Iron deficiency leads to low levels of hemoglobin in the blood, commonly known as anemia. Rich sources of iron are present in non vegetarian food, dry fruits, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B (mainly B6, B12 and folic acid)

Rich sources of B-complex vitamins are unpolished (whole) grains, seeds, nuts, eggs, beans, dairy products and green leafy vegetables.

Zinc

Zinc acts like a catalyst in may metabolic processes of the body. Foods rich in zinc are meat, sea food – especially oysters, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, eggs and milk.

Omega 3 fatty acids

These contain DHA, which help the brain to be active and alert. Deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids causes depression. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are fish and fish oils (especially salmon, trout and tuna). Flax seed is a good vegetarian source for the same. To read more about Foods that make you Happy