Food is the basic requirement of human life. One spends more than half of his/her earnings on food and eatables. It is associated with celebrations, occasions, hunger etc. Partying would be incomplete without food while expressing an emotion can be enhanced by food! There is strong impact of food consumption on human behavior and nature.
Human body is an engine and it runs on the fuel provided– food. What we eat has direct impact on our health, physique, and mind. So, when you are in bad mood there are some foods which can help lift you up without hampering your health. These foods fall under ‘the happiness Diet’. You can make changes in your diet to erase that low/down feeling or to get refreshed.
Omega 3 is a very important nutrient for the brain. It helps fighting against depression by altering neurotransmitter pathway. It is
present in fish, flax seeds, walnuts etc. Regular consumption of omega 3 helps elevating the mood. Walnut is known as ‘brain food’ because its bi-lobed and wrinkled appearance play important role.
All greens, especially spinach is rich in folic acid, calcium and fiber. Folic acid and calcium triggers release mood elevating chemicals into the brain. Fiber is important for healthy digestion. A healthy digestive system is crucial for proper absorption of other nutrients. Iron rich foods such as beet, spinach, methi and sesame help maintain hemoglobin levels. Low Hb levels affect concentration and productivity at work.
Lycopene present in tomatoes help in preventing inflammatory compounds that are associate with depression. While B6 vitamin helps in secretion of serotonin and dopamine, chilli, pepper, garlic contain capsaicin that helps in releasing endorphins- the mood elevating factors.
Here is the good news for potato lovers! Small potatoes with skin have as many phytonutrients as cup of broccoli. Kukoamines found in potatoes help in maintaining blood pressure. It is loaded with iodine affecting thyroid activity. Thyroid function is associated with depression.
One can replace table sugar with honey as it is loaded with iron, B complex vitamins, manganese etc. These compounds boost energy. Vitamin d is important in maintaining good mood. Lack of vitamin D is associated with low activity level, muscular pain and decreased
concentration. Besides sun light, egg yolk, sunflower seed are rich sources of Vitamin D. Maintaining a daily intake of selenium also helps in mood elevation. It is present in fish, nuts, lean meat, beans, low fat dairy products etc.
One must avoid caffeine which is not good for health. Consuming green tea helps boost energy levels and detoxify the system. Phenol present in chocolate helps in improving mood, but must be consumed in limits.
High carbohydrate diet induces sleep promoting chemicals and is responsible for drowsy feeling after high carb meal. At the same time a high protein meal helps in keeping alert, higher satiety and satisfaction.
India’s ancient science- Ayurveda has its own philosophy for food and its impact on human body and mind. It has three categories: Sattvik, rajas & tamas. Sattvik foods induce clarity, harmony and balance. Rajas foods are required for quality of mind which induces energy and action. Tamas evokes darkness, resistance and grounding. Fresh fruits, vegetables, salads etc are satvik food where as non vegetarian food – egg, chicken, fish, meat is considered as tamasik food.