Did you know that some foods can actually lift your mood? Well, some nutrients help boost your levels of serotonin and endorphin—the hormones governing your wellbeing. Make sure you include the following ten foods in your “happiness diet”.
1. Foods rich in tryptophan. In general, cheese, lean meat (chicken, turkey, etc), fish, pulses, dairy products, eggs and nuts are all great foods for boosting serotonin.
2. Carbohydrates. Pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc are excellent for helping your body take in tryptophan. The glucose they contain is also a source of energy.
3. Nuts. One of the key foods. A handful of nuts a day helps give you your fix of vitamins and minerals. Almonds are rich in magnesium—ideal if you lead a stressful life and need to relax. Walnuts, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts are other ingredients you should always have in your kitchen cupboard.
4. Salmon. Salmon and tuna are two of the best fish for boosting serotonin, thanks to their Omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Bananas. Bananas have a relaxing effect on our nervous system and boost serotonin, making us feel happier. Other highly recommendable fruits are pineapple (great before going to bed), oranges (and other citrus fruit in general) and strawberries.
6. Broccoli. Rich in vitamins and minerals—a star ingredient for a “happy kitchen cupboard”.
7. Spinach. A source of folic acid—just the thing for good health and wellbeing.
8. Artichokes. Their insulin boosts the digestive system and they are excellent for removing toxins.
9. Chocolate. In moderation, chocolate helps the body take in tryptophan, which—as we’ve seen—is key to our wellbeing. It also contains caffeine, phenethylamine and exorphins—all great stimulants.
10. Water. The famous 1½ litres of water a day not only helps keep us hydrated; it also helps relax us.
And don’t forget: doing sport will increase the benefits of this optimistic diet even further!