While almost everyone understands that nutritious food is good for a healthy body, not as many know it can also benefit mind and emotions. Turns out there is such a thing as soul food.
Certain foods contain high concentrations of amino acids that the body can convert into the happy chemical also known as serotonin. Synthesized from tryptophan, it acts as a messenger that has stabilising effects on mood and sleep patterns, and may even promote longevity.
A diet rich in tryptophan, as well as a healthy eating plan, can work wonders. In many cases, a few well-chosen snacks during the day are enough to put smiles on faces, much like playing a few games at an online casino can do!
How to Eat
Knowing how to eat is as important as knowing what to eat. Research conducted by the University of Illinois Extension revealed that regular daily mealtimes ensure not only a steady energy supply, but stable blood sugar levels, which can ultimately lead to happiness.
In addition to ensuring a regular meal plan is stuck to, it is also important to avoid foods that can be detrimental to body and mind. Among those to be consumed in moderation or left out altogether are refined starches and sugars such as those found in soda, confectionary, white bread and rice, and even packaged fruit juice. Unless it is red wine, alcohol is best avoided. It acts as a depressant, and it can lead to dehydration. In moderation, red wine can help reduce risks of heart disease while its resveratrol concentration can help with depression.
Far healthier options include serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine release-increasing proteins such as eggs, poultry, fish, and low-fat Greek yoghurt, foods rich in vitamins B-12 and D such as soymilk, oranges, oats, cottage cheese, and salmon, and complex carbohydrate-containing fibre such as pears, beans, and peas.
Seeds and Nuts
Tryptophan is found in all seeds and nuts, so it is possible to put together a mood-boosting mix of favourites. In addition to containing antioxidants and vitamins, they are also rich in fibre.
Research indicates that eating a cup of nuts daily can reduce chances of heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.
While egg white is rich in protein, the yolks are a mood-enhancing nutritious powerhouse. Containing high levels of tryptophan, biotin, tyrosine, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids, they can increase the amount of the amino acid essential to serotonin production in the blood plasma.
Incredibly versatile, eggs can be used in combination with many other foods that have the power to turn frowns upside down.
Amino acids, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins are not the only things in food that can have a beneficial effect on mind and emotions. Triglycerides are medium-chain fats that have been proven to improve mood.
SUNY Albany and Yale University studies revealed that coconut is not only rich in those healthy fats, it can also help protect the nervous system. A tasty way to eat more coconut is to combine dried flakes with fruit and nuts for a tropical trail-mix.
The humble blueberry has the well-deserved reputation of being a super-food. In addition to high concentrations of vitamin C, blueberries also contain resveratrol.
Both have been shown to help fight depression, with the vitamin C also providing an immune-boosting burst of energy. They also contain large amounts of anti-oxidants.
The foods highlighted here for their ability to make you happy are readily available, do not require advanced technical skills to prepare, and do not cost a fortune. Cheap and cheerful, nature’s bounty has much to offer, and can greatly improve your life and your lifestyle!