Dealing with these day’s uncertainty, stressful atmosphere, and various challenges has been tough on all of us. Given the circumstances, it is only normal that we tend to turn to comfort food even more often than we usually do. The tricky part is that our idea of feel-good foods and drinks are often not exactly healthy. In this article, we’d like to tempt you with a list of nutritious foods and drinks that are scientifically proven to improve our mood!
1. Eat fish!
Through a number of studies, scientists have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids as found in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines may affect the function of our brain and stabilize our mood. The data shows that people who are depressed and/or experience other mental health problems tend to be low in omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, the findings suggest that consuming fish may help a person maintain a stable mood.
And don’t worry! You don’t need to be an excellent cook to satisfy your appetite with this healthy option of comfort food. You can easily whip up something nice and easy using these flavorsome ingredients, and it would still be a significant upgrade from your go-to junk food choice!
2. Get your dose of vitamin D
Researchers have found that vitamin D may increase the levels of serotonin which is the feel-good neurotransmitter that creates a positive mood. No wonder sunshine is always associated with happy thoughts! Therefore, if you think you might not be getting enough sunshine, hence not naturally producing enough vitamin D, you might want to snack on some cheese, consume a daily glass of milk (make it chocolate milk if that makes you happier!), and enjoy a daily bowl of your favorite cereal, or eggs cooked in your favorite style!
3. Eat fermented foods
Have your pick of your fermented favorites as they contain probiotics, the “helpful” bacteria which is good for your digestive system. Probiotics produce serotonin and dopamine which are both feel-good neurotransmitters. In other words, eating yogurt, tempeh, kefir, sourdough bread, miso and certain types of cheeses can literally make you feel happy!
4. You can’t go wrong with chocolate
A little bit of chocolate when you’re feeling blue is not an unhealthy option at all. However, binging on a whole pack of chocolate cookies is indeed an issue. After all, it is the chocolate itself that uplifts your mood. The phenethylamine in chocolate triggers the release of endorphins and intensifies the action of dopamine which brings the feeling of pleasure, satisfaction, and an overall mood boost. And that’s why chocolate cravings are so incredibly popular and real.
5. The age-old turmeric trick
If you happen to live here on the island, you must be familiar with the exotic age-old elixir called jamu. One of the most popular types of jamu has turmeric, which contains a compound called curcumin, as its main ingredient. Aside from being a great natural booster for your immune system, researchers have also found that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in curcumin are effective to reduce anxiety and stress. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect herbal drink to savor at the end of a challenging day?
Well, are you ready to shift your idea of feel-good foods and drinks now? Here’s to a future filled with healthy cravings!