It’s no secret that eating certain foods can make us happier. The trick is finding foods that’ll boost our mood and energy, without the dreaded “crash” that comes with eating most sugary, fatty snacks. Here are some foods proven to do that, from the book “The Happiness Diet,” by Dr. Drew Ramsey:
Fish. Dr. Ramsey says the key is the omega-3 fatty acids in fish - like wild salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Research shows that omega-3s help slow digestion, which steadies our blood sugar, and produces a calming effect that’s been linked to better brain function, and a lower risk of anxiety. That explains why a recent study found that people who ate at least two seafood meals a week tended to have the lowest rates of depression and mood disorders.
Anything containing tryptophan. That includes poultry, beef, eggs, and nuts. Most people know that tryptophan can make us feel sleepy. And that’s because the body uses it to produce serotonin – the calming chemical linked to feelings of well being and happiness. For some people, the mood-boost they get from tryptophan also makes them sleepy. But Dr. Ramsey says we can avoid sleepiness by eating no more than 320 milligrams of tryptophan a day – which is the amount found in 4 ounces of chicken, or a cup of soybeans.
Spinach. Our expert says spinach is packed with folate, which is linked to a more positive mood, and a lower risk for depression. The problem is that our body can’t store folate. So, we need a steady supply from our food every day. And for most people, just two cups of uncooked spinach – or a half-cup cooked – provides all the folate you’ll need to stay happy.