Monday, 8 October 2012

Guest Post: Foods that Make You Happy (apart from Chocolate)

The lovely people at Fit Farm have sent me a great piece on food. I certainly notice my mood change for the worse when I've gobbled up a bag of haribo and washed it down with a latte. And I should probably get myself down to the Fit Farm too after my terrible eating habits recently!

Want to be happier? Start with what you eat. Research from the neuroscience and nutrition fields show that you can improve your mood and focus simply by changing what you eat. Besides improving your mood, these diet changes can also help you stay physically healthy. Start feeling happier today by including these foods in your diet.

Here is a reason for you to always eat eggs at breakfast: eggs are rich in vitamin B12 which is essential for nerve cells. A deficiency in this vitamin can cause irritability and even depression. In addition, eggs also contain folate which keeps our brain’s neurotransmitters functioning properly. Iodine is also essential for good thyroid function. An underactive thyroid can lead to loss of energy and weight gain. These are only some of the benefits of eating eggs.

Eggs make you happy!

Honey and Maple Syrup
When talking about happy food, most people immediately think of sweets. However, high sugar intake and depression may actually go hand in hand. But that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of sweets. Instead of chocolates, try honey and maple syrup. These are rich in manganese, zinc and B vitamins which boost the brain’s energy production. When choosing maple syrup though, make sure you go for the pure, organic one. Many maple syrup products in the market today have high amounts of fructose corn syrup.

Can green, leafy vegetables make you happy? Yes, more so when you’re talking about spinach. Did you know that spinach contains compounds that actively work to keep you in a happy mood? No wonder Popeye is such a huge fan!

Spinach and other greens are rich in folate – the natural form of folic acid that is found in food. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps in creating serotonin which is a neurotransmitter long been linked to happiness. There have been various studies that show low folate and serotonin levels can cause depression.

Wild Salmon
What makes wild salmon a happy food? This fish is an important source of almost all the elements that will help keep you in a good mood. Studies show that people in countries that have the highest fish consumption have the lowest depression and seasonal affective disorder rates. This may be due to the fact that wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Today, fish oil is known to be effective in treating major depression.

If you are in need of energy, munch on almonds. Besides containing healthy fat and fiber, almonds are also packed with magnesium which converts carbohydrates, protein and fat into energy. A research from the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota found that women who have higher magnesium levels are able to do activities longer than women with lower levels.  Include almonds in your diet to always have abundant energy.

What to Keep in Mind
These are only some of the food that will help keep you happy. Don’t forget that there are other rules that you should follow. First, reduce the amount of processed food that you consumed. These have high amounts of sugar which are not beneficial to your overall health. Also, eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These contain the vitamins and minerals that you need to ensure that you are focused and always in the best health.

Editorial by FitFarms UK. Visit for information on Fitness Holiday and Boot Camp Programmes.


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