Sunday March 13th, 2016

Food that make us happy

Yesterday was International Day of Happiness, and we thought this would be the perfect time to review the foods that help improve our state of mind.

Being in a good mood actually makes absolutely everything in our body work better: it favors our capacity to think and to learn and our creativity, and stimulates optimism so that we can handle stressful changes and challenges much more easily.

We all know that doing sports and getting a good night’s sleep are simple habits that help us feel better. Indeed, professionals have confirmed that walking just three hours a week improves our state of mind.

But what everybody does not know is that foods can also help us feel happier and, sometimes, having a good day is as simple as just including them in our diets.

Here are the 10 foods that have a positive impact on our mood:

  1. Virgin olive oil: gives us energy, is digestive, and is extremely good for our circulatory system and heart. It is also an antioxidant, contains vitamin E and helps our brains and nervous systems work correctly.
  2. Almonds: balance the nervous system and reduce stress. Moreover, they are rich in B vitamins and contain phenylalanine, which gives us vitality.
  3. Garlic: experts advise ingesting raw garlic because it increases serotonin, a substance that balances out our mood and helps combat depression.
  4. Legumes: are great because they provide energy, improve our memory and state of mind by alleviating pain. For example, garbanzo beans lower irritability, kidney beans prevent feelings of weakness and exhaustion, and lentils contain large quantities of iron and thus give us energy.
  5. Spinach: the star food of happiness. It is a natural relaxant and has a sedative effect on the nervous system, reducing irritability and augmenting positive feelings.
  6. Cod: like almonds, it is rich in B vitamins, which helps stop us from feeling despondent or discouraged, as well as preventing intellectual fatigue.
  7. Broccoli: this food, as well as being considered an antidepressant, is an ally in fighting degenerative diseases and certain types of cancer, due to its high content of sulfur compounds. It is also essential for growth, good eyesight and nervous system development.
  8. Strawberries: it is well known that constipation can really put us in a bad mood, and strawberries’ rich fiber content helps prevent this malaise. They also contain folic acid, which helps balance the brain’s chemicals, producing pleasure and a sense of well-being.
  9. Lean turkey, pork and chicken: these meats contain proteins that reconstruct body cells and tissues, and also activate serotonin.
  10. Chile or hot peppers: contain a substance called capsaicin that combats depression and feelings of anger and frustration. This is because the brain perceives the spicy burning sensation as pain, and responds by releasing endorphins to counteract it and produce well-being.