- Zuzia Boguslawska
Diet for happiness
We mentioned in our blog before that eating a healthy diet can prevent many health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, or even strokes. Did you know that everyday foods can also be the key to a happy and focused mind?
Serotonin and Tryptophan
Serotonin is a chemical that regulates your mood and promotes sleep. Clinical trials have shown that low levels of this feel-good chemical are associated with anxiety and depression. Serotonin is synthesized from an amino acid called tryptophan, which can only be derived from certain foods or supplements. The amino acid itself is thought to play role in cognition, including long-term memory. That’s why eating tryptophan-enriched meals can improve your overall well-being.
What to eat
Many protein-containing foods are rich in tryptophan. There are also vegetarian and vegan foods, in which you can find this amino acid.
The consumption of egg protein can boost your blood levels of tryptophan. Instead of frying your eggs and adding extra fat, you can try boiling or poaching them to reduce the caloric content.
Believe it or not, cheddar cheese contains more tryptophan than turkey! Combining your favorite cheese (or other tryptophan-rich foods) with bread or other carbohydrates will increase the uptake of the amino acid into the brain.
Tofu is made of soya rich source of the ‘happy’ amino acid. Tofu is a great alternative to meat products that you can add to any meal. It’s not only abundant in protein, but also calcium.
Eating oily fish has many health benefits. They contain tryptophan and long-chain Omega-3 fats, which are important for brain function and the communication of serotonin and dopamine.
Nuts are a great source of protein, including the amino acid tryptophan. Nuts that will help boost your serotonin levels the most are cashews, pistachios, and almonds.
Diet, exercise, sleep, and a positive attitude are all key elements to improving mood.
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