Eat Yourself Happy: 6 Foods That Boost Your Mood
“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (translated from French)
WOULD YOU AGREE that what we eat is intricately linked to our mood, emotions and behaviour? Consider this: do you find yourself reaching for comfort food when you feel sad? More often than we’d like to admit, it’s usually fatty, sugary and processed food. Since International Day of Happiness starts this week, we’ve decided to zoom in on 6 foods that makes us happy. For a mood boost, grab these healthier options instead!
For a mood boost, eat these:
[From left to right: Fish Pesto Pasta, and our new Shellfish Pasta, available at all-day dining outlets]
More commonly known as food for your brain, consuming seafood is an easy way to lift your mood. Shellfish like oysters and clams are packed with vitamin B12, an essential vitamin your body needs to produce dopamine and serotonin. Oysters, in particular, are rich in zinc. Low zinc levels are typically linked to anxiety.
Similarly, oily, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout are full of omega-3, a key mood-boosting nutrient. Omega-3 fatty acids alter your brain chemicals linked to mood, specifically dopamine and serotonin. Most of you would know that low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and anxiety. Dopamine, on the other hand, is a “reward” chemical the brain releases in response to a pleasurable experience.
Caffeine lovers rejoice! A Nurses’ Health study found that women who drank two or three cups of coffee a day were 15% less likely to become depressed. The magic of this mood lifting bean is well-known. Caffeine increases dopamine and serotonin transmissions within just 30 minutes. Admit it, you reach for a cup of coffee in the morning to boost your mental focus and alertness. Here’s the catch: the less you consume, the better it works.
[Left to right: Our newly launched Super Acai Bowl, and our Berry Punch Yoghurt Cup]
Since majority of serotonin is made in our gut, cultured dairy products are the way to promote a healthy gut. Consuming yoghurt or kefir helps enhance the population of healthy probiotic bacteria in your gut. Just make sure to choose yoghurt labeled with “contains live and active cultures”, to cultivate healthy bacteria you need for a positive mood.
[A couple of our avocado-filled sandwiches: our Beetroot Avocado sandwich and our Pulled Pork sandwich]
Time to put avocados on your shopping list! Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B6 and tryptophan have been linked to depression, but fret not, avocados contain plenty of all three. Also known as a natural hormone balancer, avocados ensure your brain is making the right chemicals needed to keep you happy.
[Our vegan-friendly, Portobello & Tri Colour Quinoa]
As a complex carbohydrate and complete protein, quinoa helps keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady. This prevents blood sugar spikes, which can make you irritable and unfocused. A flavonoid found in quinoa, quercetin, has also been shown to have anti-depressant effects.
6. Leafy Greens
[Right: Our hearty Prawn & Bacon Spinach salad]
For your 5 a day, choose dark leafy greens like spinach, bok choy or kale. These vegetables are rich in folic acid, a nutrient that affects your brain’s neurotransmitters and alleviates depression or fatigue. Moreover, spinach comes packed with B vitamins which regulate serotonin production and repair tired muscles.
Happiness is just a mouthful away!
Since you now know about these natural mood boosters, head over to our outlets to eat yourself happy! Specially for International Day of Happiness, we have a treat for you, our loyal customers. Head on down to any of our outlets for some good vibes!