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When we talk about food making us happy, really we are referring to the impact food has on our mood. There are foods that have been scientifically shown to lift our spirits.

Certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and omega’s are directly responsible for contributing towards our health and well being. These are all derived from various foods. Studies have shown deficiencies in any of the fore mentioned have been linked to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Tryptophan is an amino acid used in the synthesis of proteins. Your body can’t create it and it must come from your diet. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which then becomes serotonin. Because of this, tryptophan is considered a natural mood regulator. Eating more tryptophan-rich foods and/or taking supplements has been shown to balance mood, induce sleepiness, alleviate depression, and calm anxiety.Bananas are a good source of tryptophan.

Berries are known to contain a high amount of antioxidants for example the flavonoid anthocyanidin. Studies have shown these help reduce inflammation, which has been associated with increased rates of depression.

Studies have noted that low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety. Zinc has also been shown to have positive effects on learning and memory. Shellfish and legumes are examples of foods that are high in zinc.

Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants and magnesium. According to a study published in the journal of Proteome Research, dark chocolate has been found to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. As we all know stress when prolonged can have a negative impact on your overall health.

Walnuts have been found to contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants and they contain a large amount of of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant based omega 3. Omega 3’s have been found to improve brain cognition. Is that why they are shaped like a brain I wonder.

Eggs are not only just a good source of protein but are also high in choline which helps boost memory. It must be noted that choline is only contained in the yolk. As eggs are a good source of protein, they contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, which can help the body to produce more serotonin.

The yellow spice turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin is known to be good for gut health and an overall excellent anti inflammatory agent. However curcumin has also been shown to enhance mood and fights depression. Studies have shown it may help alleviate symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer. .

Salmon is a oil fish packed full of omega 3’s. This means plenty DHA which has been shown to improve mood and fight depression. Omega 3’s are a great anti inflammatory agent but also good for hair and skin. Could call it as natures multi vitamin.

A low mood is usually associated with lethargy and generally lower energy levels. In terms of deficiencies, this has been linked with low levels of magnesium. Foods such as beans are rich in magnesium and have been found to reduce symptoms.

Personally healthy, flavoursome and colourful foods make me happy. They tend to be packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is always best to have a varied diet that incorporates the above mentioned foods. That way you're more likely to maintain a more balanced and positive outlook.


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