The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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Whether you’re struggling with clinical depression or simply looking to add a little energy and vitality to your life, true happiness can sometimes feel elusive. A good job, fulfilling hobbies, and plenty of exercise are all important, but they are only part of the puzzle. Just like physical health, mental health requires a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. If you’re looking to give your happiness a boost, consider adding these foods to your diet.

Mussels


It’s alarming how many people suffer from B12 deficiency, given its critical importance to not just the body’s health, but also in supporting mood. Emotions are ultimately rooted in the brain, so if it’s happiness you’re after, then adding B12 to your diet is absolutely essential. Mussels, a delectable seafood similar to oysters or scallops, are packed with Vitamin B12, which helps to insulate brain cells, especially as they age, helping to boost happiness and maintain your mood and cognitive abilities in the long term. As a bonus, mussels are also packed with selenium, which helps regulate the thyroid and thus further promotes happiness.

Dark Chocolate


Indulging in candy like dark chocolate is obviously an enjoyable experience bound to boost your spirits, but the science goes much deeper than that. Cocoa, the bean-like seeds used to make chocolate, are rich in nutrients that encourage blood flow to the brain, thereby improving both mood and energy. Stick with dark chocolate over regular candy bars, however. Not only do these contain more cocoa, but Fairmont dentists will thank you as well. Dark chocolate contains lower amounts of sugar than milk chocolate and is therefore less likely to lead to cavities, allowing you to indulge in it guilt-free.

Greek Yogurt


A favorite of those looking to shed a few extra pounds, Greek yogurt is an excellent way of meeting your body’s dairy requirements without all the extra calories found in cheese or cream. Like all dairy products, Greek yogurt is rich in calcium, a nutrient that’s vital for brain health. It’s been shown time and again that calcium deficiency can influence anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders that affect your happiness in the long term. Greek yogurt also forms an excellent culinary base, so consider adding some dark chocolate or honey for an extra boost to your brain’s health and your happiness.

Asparagus


Whether steamed, grilled, or wrapped in bacon and fried, asparagus is a texture and flavor-rich vegetable full of fiber and flavor. While this is great for the body, asparagus also contains two nutrients that are proven to boost your happiness and sense of well-being. Tryptophan plays a key role in the brain’s production of serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood, anxiety, and happiness. As it happens, asparagus is one of the best plant-based sources of tryptophan, making it an excellent choice regardless of your diet restrictions. Asparagus is also rich in folate. Folate deficiency is somewhat common and the numbers show this to be especially true in those who suffer from depression. Asparagus is rich in both of these nutrients, making it an essential food for improving your happiness.

Eggs


It seems every year there’s a new fad diet or nutrition “expert” decrying the dangers of eggs, but medical professionals know better. Eggs are a powerful little food not just in terms of bodily health, but also in strengthening the mind and improving your mood. Eggs are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which not only protect the heart, but also protect the brain and balance mood. Likewise, eggs are full of that all-important B12. Lastly, eggs are a low-calorie way of adding protein to your diet, a powerful energy source that will keep you moving without packing on extra pounds. Higher energy levels mean happiness, so consider having an omelet instead of your morning bowl of cereal.

Food for Thought


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