Can You Eat Your Way To Happiness?
So you’re feeling “meh”. Could it have something to do with the food you’ve been putting on your plate? Nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge says yes. So come on and get happy by adding these ingredients to your diet
Deakin University recently ran the very aptly names SMILEs (Supporting the Modification of Lifestyle in Lowered Emotional States) trial, in which it set out to measure the therapeutic impact of a healthy diet – one with very little packaged, processed foods. After 12 weeks, this randomised control trial concluded that dietary improvements can reduce symptoms of depression, with one-third of the participants going into remission from major depression.
So, here is my choice of the top five foods that are sure to make you feel happier. Add to cart, stat.
1 Sourdough bread (postbiotic) With 95 percent of serotonin (our happy hormone) made in the gut, we want to ensure the gut is functioning at its best. You may already be aware of the impact of pre-and probiotics on gut health. And now the “biotics” family has a new member: postbiotics, largely associated with fermented foods such as sourdough bread and yoghurt. In very simple terms, imagine prebiotics as the food for probiotics, which in turn
manufactures the postbiotics.
2 Walnuts (omega 3) Nuts and seeds are superstars of the well-being world. And like Ariarne Titmus is to
swimming, the humble walnut shines the brightest in the nut world. They are full of omega 3, which dampens
inflammation, a key player in depression, and have also been found to have a positive impact on serotonin and
dopamine (mood-regulating hormones).
3 Green tea (theanine) This antioxidant wonder is rich in the depression-fighting amino acid theanine. Matcha powder carries a real bang for your buck, with five times as much theanine as regular green tea.
4 Dark choc (phenylethylamine) Yes, lovely, silky, dark chocolate with over 70 percent cocoa contains phenylethylamine, a component that produces a positive effect on moods. Two squares savoured rather than chomped is a smoothing mindfulness exercise, too.
5 Bananas (tryptophan) Even shaped like a smile, bananas are a great addition to our happy toolkit. We know
they’re high in complex carbs, which make them perfect pre or post-exercise, but also contain tryptophan, which converts to serotonin. Other complex-carb fruits and veggies are apples, berries, carrots, and sweet potatoes. They supply us with energy and vitamin B. Without energy, it’s hard to get happy.