There’s no doubt that for many of us, food makes us happy. Whether it’s an ice-cream pick-me-up or a meal that reminds us of mom, eating and our emotions have a strong link.
Yet, on a chemical level there are some foods that really can impact our moods.
Check out these five foods that have the right nutrients to make for a better day.
Chocolate – Cliché as it is, there is good scientific proof that chocolate can actually make us cheerful – especially the darker varieties. High levels of phenylalanine help us produce serotonin and dopamine in the brain, both feel-good neurotransmitters.
Bananas – Yes, bananas are rich in potassium, but they are also ripe with B6, the drug needed to convert foods you eat into dopamine and adrenaline. A lack of B6 can make you feel low and depressed.
Salmon – We’ve all heard of the good that Omega-3 oils in salmon can do for the heart. But they also help enhance levels of serotonin in the brain. In addition, salmon is a source of vitamin D or the sunshine drug, which helps stave off seasonal affective disorder and depression.
Walnuts – Similar to salmon, walnuts are rich in Omega-3s, which provide that serotonin burst. In addition, they have loads of magnesium, a nutrient that helps stabilize your blood-sugar level and keeps you on an even keel. In some studies, magnesium has also been shown to minimize irritable symptoms of PMS.
Oysters – Known widely as an aphrodisiac, oysters are believed to have two rare amino acids that stimulate testosterone to make us frisky. They’re also high in zinc, which has been shown to have a stabilizing and calming effect.
What foods make you happy? Tell us in the comments below.