Even the happiest person can feel sad once in a while, especially with the many uncertainties in the world.
When that happens, it’s all too easy to turn sugary sweets or salty snacks as a balm to our bad mood, hoping that instant gratification will ease our sadness—at least for a little bit.
Maybe it’s grabbing a king size candy bar in the checkout lane at the store or munching through a giant bag of potato chips while you’re binge-watching your latest series.
While our favorite flavors bring immediate and undeniable joy to our taste buds, that joy soon evaporates as you begin to feel sluggish or bloated. Luckily, there are many healthy, mood-boosting foods that can play a vital role in helping you feel better and maybe even improve your outlook on life.
Here is an easy list that will help you determine which foods are the best mood boosters for you so you have a healthy and satisfying way to feel better—one bite at a time.
Dark leafy greens
Loading up your plate with a salad of dark leafy greens like spinach and swiss chard – or serving them sautéed as a side dish – not only gives you forkfuls of fiber to balance your blood sugar, they are also rich in nutrients like iron and vitamin B that help improve brain function.
Another plus: They give you a good dose of magnesium, a mood-booster that can raise your serotonin levels.
If greens make you grimace, find a good nutrient-dense supplement to fill in the gaps. Nutrilite™ Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables is made from whole food extracts, which means its formula is rich in phytonutrients. One supplement serving provides the phytonutrient equivalent of more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Whether you sear it, broil it or slide it onto a toasted bun, a serving of salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12. Both of these can help lower your risk of depression, research shows.
There’s also a bonus: Nutrients in salmon can help your hair grow better and your skin look healthier. And who doesn’t feel better when they’re having a great hair day?
Whole grain foods like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa or whole-grain chips not only make you feel full longer, they give you a boost. Plus, whole grains are important sources of B vitamins, which are vital to your brain’s health.
Slices of this sandwich staple and holiday favorite are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce mood-boosting serotonin.
A serving of turkey also contains an array of B vitamins, which are good for your brain. It’s low levels of fat also make it a great choice for those trying to include more lean protein into their diets.
Chocolate lovers likely have known this for a long time: Dark chocolate is a nice little mood booster. It contains phenethylamine, which triggers your body’s release of feel-good serotonin.
But while cocoa can improve your mental outlook, you want to be careful not to overload on sugar. Stick to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, and keep your daily dose to 1 or 2 ounces.
Scrambled, poached or over-easy, eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein and they are packed with vitamin D, which increases your level of serotonin.
Eggs also contain choline, which acts as a neurotransmitter to support your memory and your mood.
Probiotics are found in yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, miso, tempeh and even pickles, and probiotic-rich foods are associated with a better mental outlook.
If foods that pack a probiotic punch are not your favorite, try a supplement instead. Nutrilite™ Balance Within™ Probiotic comes in small packets and is easily dissolvable in water, your favorite cold beverage, or in food.
Matcha green tea
Sipping on matcha green tea is a tasty way to brighten your mood. This kind of tea is known for having a high concentration of flavonoids and L-theanine, which can make you feel more relaxed because they increase your serotonin and dopamine levels.
And there’s just something about slowing down and cozying up with a cup of tea that makes you smile.
So, as you are planning your meals and snacks for the days ahead, make sure to include a healthy mix of all these good mood foods to have at the ready. Finding a natural way to increase your happiness might just be a few bites away.
Looking for other ways to change your mood? Take advantage of the power of music with these playlists created by n* by Nutrilite™ or check out these tips for fighting the winter blues. And to learn more about Nutrilite™ and the products mentioned here, visit Amway.com.