Food and Happiness !

I doubt it comes as a big surprise to anybody but food can play a big part in our happiness especially when it comes to boosting our happiness !  One of the things I have noticed about living in the remote work pandemic world is that many seem to be turning to food as a source of comfort , couple that with possibly less exercise and a lack of social interaction and you have a recipe for some possible unhealthy habits and weight gain , probably not the happiness you are looking for . If you are an office worker that has found themselves working from home for the past year and are involved in any kind of Zoom type meetings where the cameras are on you most likely have noticed some weight changes both in yourself and others !  Don’t worry I’m not promoting dieting nor casting guilt, alas I too find myself heavier 🙂 Lets just leave it at less is more sometimes and being healthy is a big part of happiness 🙂

There is a reason people turn to food when stress levels rise , the term comfort food is a real thing ! When we get stressed out (chronic stress) our bodies produce  high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and fried foods—foods that give you a burst of energy and pleasure. The more uncontrolled stress in your life the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief.  This isn’t happiness exactly but more of a primitive coping mechanism , in moderation then by all means indulge but lets explore some healthier food options that actually promote happiness which in turn could make us more able to deal with stress in the first place 🙂

So here is one of my world famous (as if) lists ! This is a list of foods that boost happiness and a basic explanation of how … Most of the information here comes from this web article, I’ve included the highlights to fit within the parameters of our happiness discussion but the full article “9 Healthy Foods That Lift Your Mood” is here . Written by Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT on February 5, 2020 — Medically reviewed by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D.  with all the details if you would like to read further in-depth.

1.  Dark Chocloate – Just the thought of a good chocolate makes me feel happy !

Dark chocolate is rich in compounds that may increase feel-good chemicals in your brain.

2. Fish –

Fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower your risk of depression.

 

3. Fermented foods –

Since up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in your gut, a healthy gut may correspond to a good mood. Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics that support gut health.

4. Bananas-

Bananas are a great source of natural sugar, vitamin B6, and prebiotic fiber, which work together to keep your blood sugar levels and mood stable.

5. Oats –

Oats provide fiber that can stabilize your blood sugar levels and boost your mood. They’re also high in iron, which may improve mood symptoms in those with iron deficiency anemia.

6. Berries –

Berries are rich in disease-fighting anthocyanins, which may lower your risk of depression.

7. Nuts and seeds –

8. Coffee –  I knew it ! One of my favorites !

Coffee provides numerous compounds, including caffeine and chlorogenic acid, that may boost your mood. Research suggests that decaf coffee may even have an effect.

 

9. Beans and Lentils –

Beans and lentils are rich sources of mood-boosting nutrients, particularly B vitamins.

 

The article concludes with roughly the same conclusion as my first paragraph (although much better written) , once again the entire article can be found here “9 Healthy Foods That Lift Your Mood” . Written by Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT on February 5, 2020 — Medically reviewed by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D.  with all the details if you would like to read further in-depth.

“The bottom line
When feeling blue, you may crave calorie-rich, high sugar foods like ice cream or cookies to try to lift your spirits.

While this might give you a sugar rush, it’s unlikely to help you in the long term — and may have negative consequences as well.

Instead, you should aim for wholesome foods that have been shown to not only boost your mood but also your overall health. Try out some of the foods above to kick-start your positivity routine.”

 

Wow ! who knew ?  Sharing a cup of coffee or even chocolate could very well be sharing some happiness !!!   Sounds like a win win !

Find your happiness, Share your Happiness 🙂

Until next time

Greg

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