Ever in need of a quick mood boost? Well now there's 20 easy ways to give you a lift just by what you put on your plate. Take a look through our list of our 20 foods to make you happy, give you energy and leave you less stressed.
Have you been feeling a bit down and grumpy lately or in need of a quick mood boost? Well we’ve found 20 foods that are scientifically proven to raise happiness levels, give you more energy, reduce stress levels and even raise your libido – and they can all be easily introduced into your diet.
Oily fish including mackerel is one of the few foods that contains Vitamin D, usually produced when we’re exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D boosts our levels of serotonin and is one of the reasons that people tend to feel happier on sunny days.
Goodtoknow says: Great to make you feel happier
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and packed with essential nutrients that have been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression and help give you a good night’s sleep.
Goodtoknow says: Great to fight off depression
Bananas contain tryptophan – a clever ingredient that the body uses to make the happiness hormone serotonin. They’re also packed full of potassium which is lost when we get stressed and if that wasn’t enough, they contain Vitamin B6 which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Goodtoknow says: Great to stop mood swings
Pâté is a great source of iron which helps supply the brain with oxygen – the recommended intake of iron is 8.7mg a day for men and 14.8mg for women with Pâté containing 9.9mg per 100g.
Goodtoknow says: Great to fight fatigue
Good news – eating chocolate makes you happy and eating ones that are 70% cocoa are actually quite good for you. Just a few pieces can cause the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels putting you in a good mood.
Goodtoknow says: Great for a quick pick-me-up
Carbohydrates such as pasta lift your spirits by increasing the production of serotonin. Scientific research has shown that high-carb meals are more effective than high-protein meals at lifting the mood, while protein-only meals tend to make people more sluggish.
Goodtoknow says: Great to keep you energised
Vension isn’t the most popular meat to grace our dinner tables but it’s one of the healthiest ways you can increase the amount of protein in your diet. It’s low in fat and provides half our recommended daily amount of zinc, a mineral that’s key to maintaining a healthy immune system and glowing skin.
Goodtoknow says: Great for the mind and body
It’s often said that eating cheese before you go to bed will give you nightmares but a new study by the British Cheese Board has found that far from causing nightmares, cheese gave 72 per cent of the 200 volunteers a very good night’s sleep. It also contains tryptophan – a mood enhancer – and calcium, which is necessary to manufacture melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Take our sleep test to see if you’re getting enough shut-eye.
Goodtoknow says: Great for a good night’s sleep
We know pomegranates are healthy but did you also know that eating one or drinking a glass of juice can help stabilise your sugar levels after you’ve eaten a high-calorie meal? That means that you eliminate the risk of an energy slump after dinner.
Goodtoknow says: Great to keep energy levels high following a meal
You might want to think twice about missing your morning coffee as it boosts the metabolism and energy levels making you feel more alert. Coffee can actually manipulate the same channels in the brain as amphetamines which activate the brain’s pleasure controls. Goodtoknow says: Great to give you a much needed morning lift
Forget about splashing out a fortune at the fish counter to get your much needed intake of Vitamin B12 – a tin of salmon is every bit as rich in the vitamin and costs much less. Salmon alongside shellfish, lean beef and cottage cheese is said to aid the body’s production of serotonin which causes happy moods.
Goodtoknow says: Great to get the health benefits without the cost
Not many people like to eat foods that are too spicy but eating chillies can give you a mood boost. As the body defends itself against capsicin, the chemical that causes the hot sensation when eating chillies, the brain releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers, leaving you with a natural high.
Goodtoknow says: Great for an instant boost
We know Popeye loved spinach but do you know why? Not only does it make your muscles strong, it also helps dry skin, smooth lines and guard against sun damage. It contains an antioxidant called trifecta which helps battle all sorts of skin problems as well as containing vitamins and minerals that fight off cancer cells, lower blood pressure and slow the age-related decline in brain function.
Goodtoknow says: Great to keep your brain young and agile
While getting blind drunk won’t improve your mood, studies have shown that sociable drinking could improve your health, revealing that light or moderate drinking is associated with better emotional well-being and social adjustment. A glass of wine also acts as a central nervous system depressant; it initially relaxes us and lowers blood pressure.
Goodtoknow says: Great to feel better with friends
Pineapple has many mood enhancing benefits. It provides a quick energy boost soon after it’s eaten as well as providing lots of fibre, which helps to slow down the digestion process leaving you happier and fuller for longer.
Goodtoknow says: Great to leave you feeling satisfied
Drinking water is essential to keep the body in tip-top working order. Even a minor dip in hydration levels can cause fatigue, headaches and memory loss. A recommended 5-8 glasses of water keeps bodily functions working healthily and helps balance stress and energy levels.
Goodtoknow says: Great to remain level-headed
As well as being low in calories, blueberries are a natural mood booster as they contain large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants that give you more energy and help promote a healthier brain.
Goodtoknow says: Great to stop you feeling tired