Someone said to me “Are there foods which would give me a happy feeling”? “Oh Yes” I replied, “I will look them up and do you a list”.
Basically it is about how to get serotonin into the body. I will explain how this works and then get on with the list. The levels of neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals which regulate our behaviour, are controlled by what foods we eat and neurotransmitters are closely linked to mood. The one which is most commonly associated with our mood is serotonin.
Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression. To get good levels of serotonin, eat the following:
Proteins such as salmon, chicken, beans and seeds, alongside slow-release carbohydrates, for the best conversion to serotonin. Drink more water, cut out caffeine and sugar, take good exercise. These all increase serotonin and work in “exactly the same way as antidepressant drugs”.
That paragraph sums it all up, but I will break it down into greater detail.
My list of “Happy Feeling Foods” is:
Selenium found in unrefined grains, meat, eggs and Brazil Nuts.
Blood Sugar Levels are important. Choose low GI foods, ie slow-release sugar – plenty of beans, pulses, lentils, apples and oranges. Go easy on bread, potatoes and avoid sugary treats.
Essential Fatty Acids:
Omega 3. Mackerel, Salmon, Sardine, Tuna, Walnut oil and Flax oil.
Omega 6. Chicken, Eggs, Flaxseeds, Grape seed oil, Safflower oil, Sunflower oil, Turkey and Wheat germ oil.
Gamma-Linoleic Acid. Black-currant oil, Blue-green algae, Borage oil, Evening-Primrose Oil.
Eat greens: Folic acid is vital for “good mood”. Lightly cook green vegetables and include beans and pulses and yeast extract (if your body has not got a yeast/fungal/candida problem)
Water: Such a simple thing – and its free and readily available! By not getting enough, it can cause a chemical imbalance. Drink 1 ½ litres a day. Even mild dehydration can seriously and quickly affect our mood and can make us feel grumpy and even depressed. Dehydration also causes headaches.
“B” vitamins are often referred to as the ‘stress and energy’ vitamins. You get them in brown rice, chicken, corn, eggs, green vegetables, legumes, meat, nuts, peas, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast.
Calcium: in almonds, green leafy vegetables, fish with bones, sesame seeds.
Magnesium: Green leafy vegetables, brown rice, sesame seeds, shrimps and salmon.
To get the happy feeling at times when we are not doing so, avoid stimulants because they deplete serotonin over time. Things like caffeine, refined carbohydrates, chocolate, sugar as well as cold remedies, alcohol, diet pills and tobacco.
Remember that a poor diet which includes junk food is a common cause of depression. The foods, and other issues mentioned here should help improve mood and help sleep pattern as well.