Whether we’re trying to lose weight or not, we all know that our mood can be effected by what we eat. And it’s especially cruel that some of the worst food tastes the best! But are there healthy foods out there that make us feel better? Could we all cheer up while we slim down?
Chocolate is the answer to most things but to the challenge of lightening your mood, it’s an especially good one (in moderation)! Unlike it’s milky brother, dark chocolate is packed with mood-boosting compounds that raise your serotonin levels – giving you a lift that will last longer than sugar. A little daily dark chocolate reduces stress hormone levels too, so try rationing and stretch a bar out over a week!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It looks like onions are all there is to cry over if you live on a Mediterranean-style diet. Countries where olive oil, whole grains and fish are prevalent typically have lower depression rates than elsewhere, studies show (according to the Archives of General Psychiatry). So if you’ve got the autumn blues, perhaps you’re missing something more than just the holiday weather.
More wisdom from the Ancients… Snacking on protein-rich Greek yogurt raises the level of dopamine in your brain. The thicker stuff has double the protein of other yogurts so, if you need that kick, don’t let yourself be wooed by smoother alternatives! Grab a spoon, maybe a drop of honey, and try the oldest trick in the book!
Nuts and Fish
They make a weird coupling, but nuts and fish are both natural sources of Omega-3 – a healthy fatty acid that helps you regulate moods and alleviate the symptoms of depression. Fish like Anchovies, trout, salmon and sardines are particularly rich in Omega-3, but if they don’t hook you, try walnuts, flaxseed or chia seeds.
Feeling stodgy and run-down after too much pizza isn’t down to carbohydrates. In fact, without the high levels of fat or protein, carbs boost serotonin just like dark chocolate does. Serotonin makes you feel a million dollars and is just another reason to give low-fat, low-protein, high-carb foods like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or quinoa a try.