Stress is no stranger to all. It can be triggered anytime and anyplace. From your home to your office, there’s just no avoiding it. Constant pressure and worry can take a mean toll on your body, and this may lead to depression and exhaustion. To prevent such unwanted conditions, it is important for you to find ways to de-stress and unwind. But did you know that you can turn to food to make you feel happier?
Many will agree that biting into a moist slice of chocolate cake or chugging down an ice-cold beer can instantly boost one’s mood. However, these choices may not be the healthiest choices. Foods that contain higher amounts of preservatives and refined sugar can actually do more damage than good. Preservatives are substances included in products to prevent decomposition, and refined sugar is basically processed raw sugar. You don’t want large amounts of these ingredients getting into your system, do you? Fresh produce is without a doubt the cleanest way to get the proper nutrition you need and this is why healthy eating can make you feel happier.
What Your Body Goes Through When You’re Unhappy
When you’re placed under unfavorable environmental situations, stress happens. This is your body’s way of reacting and confronting possible danger. And when stress happens, you tend to find yourself incredibly upset. What you may not know is that sadness can wreak havoc on your health.
Your central nervous system, digestive system, and cardiovascular system are directly affected when you are unhappy. You may begin to find it difficult to concentrate or make simple decisions. Headaches, sore muscles and stomach pangs will come and go, but it is your heart that undergoes majority of the beating when you find yourself down. This can lead to more severe health conditions in the future.
Why Healthy Eating Can Make You Feel Happier
Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” It unsurprisingly rings true. A nutritious and balanced diet means a well and balanced you. A recent study on roughly 281 young adults was conducted by doctors from Otago’s Department of Human Nutrition. What they discovered was a seemingly solid relationship between the food you scoff down and your emotions. Participants reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic.
What people put into their body has long been associated with their overall quality of life. This explains why healthy eating can make you feel happier. If you aren’t receiving the proper nutrients from your diet, you will lack important vitamins and minerals that particularly aid your body in operating accurately. Your diet greatly influences the function of your body’s systems. Eating healthy can also promote other encouraging results like weight loss and improved mental health.
Different Kinds of Nutrients and Food to Make You Feel Happier
So, now that you’re aware of just how important a healthy diet is, you might be asking yourself if there are any specific types of food to make you feel happier. Technically, all fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables are good for you. However, there are certain foods that possess slightly more beneficial properties than others.
If you want to combat the blues, folate, also known as folic acid, is the mineral to turn to. This B vitamin regulates your mood and supports the brain’s production of the happy hormone serotonin. Folate is usually found in carbohydrates, but try and opt for more wholesome grains and bread or oatmeal rather than sugary desserts. You can also get good amounts of folate in fruits like oranges, bananas, and papayas. Try and get anywhere from 400 to 600 micrograms of folic acid every day.
Here are the Healthiest Foods rich in folate:
Lentils – Pinto Beans – Garbanzo Beans – Asparagus – Spinach – Navy Beans – Black Beans – Kidney Beans – Turnip Greens – Broccoli
The most abundant mineral in your body is calcium. It builds strong bones, helps your muscles and nerves from going haywire, and is also said to reduce one’s risk of acquiring Type-2 diabetes.
Good sources of calcium:
Certain green vegetables and other foods contain calcium in smaller amounts. Calcium is evident in some green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens. You can also find this mineral in most dairy products like fresh milk, yogurt, and cheese. Some juices, breakfast foods, soymilk, cereals, snacks, bread and bottled water have calcium that has been added. If you drink soymilk or another liquid that is fortified with calcium, be sure to shake the container well as calcium can settle to the bottom. The recommended daily intake ranges anywhere between 1,000mg to 1,500mg.
Having iron deficiency is no fun. When your body lacks iron, you begin to feel depressed and fatigued. This is mainly because iron assists in the production of red blood cells that are responsible for transporting oxygen to various organs in your body. You can find iron in green leafy vegetables like spinach, as well as beans and lentils. Men are required to ingest roughly8.7 of iron and women 14.8 mg.
Good sources of iron include:
- dried fruit – such as dried apricots
- whole grains – such as brown rice
- fortified breakfast cereals
- soybean flour
- most dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and curly kale
Your body can produce a majority of the vitamins and minerals it needs; however, omega-3 is not one of them. Because of this, your body depends on the food you consume to obtain this vital fatty acid which is accountable for helping your brain interpret your moods by protecting the membranes.
You can find omega-3 in oily fish such as salmon and sardines as well as non-meat constituents like broccoli and chia seeds. Low level of omega-3 is said to lead to depression. Doctors recommend ingesting, at least, 500mg of this fatty acid daily.
Omega-3 benefits cover many areas of health, from mental and behavioral health to preventing premature death from disease.
Sources of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats:
Fish – Fish oil – Cod liver oil – Krill oil.
Krill oil: its antioxidant potency is 48 times higher than fish oil. It also contains astaxanthin, a marine-source flavonoid that creates a special bond with the EPA and DHA to allow direct metabolism of the antioxidants, making them more bioavailable.
A mineral that improves the immune system and helps you stay focused and alert is zinc. It is a key element in most of the cells found in your body.
A wide variety of foods contains zinc: Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.
Phytates—which are present in whole-grain bread, cereals, legumes, and other foods—bind zinc and inhibit its absorption.
Your body is said to be at least 60% water if no more. H20 is needed to remove waste, maintain normal body temperatures and lubricate organs and joints. You lose large amounts of water from sweating due to physical activity as well as from the excretion of waste. This could lead to dehydration. At least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day for a total of 2 litres should do the trick.
As you can see, healthy eating can make you feel happier in more ways than none. There’s nothing like turning to natural sources to make you feel good. Looking for that extra boost? Eat good food to make you feel happier.