Bliss on a Plate – Which Foods Make You Happy?

Foods Make You Happy: Bliss on a Plate Top view of black coffee and coffee beans on yellow background

Your mood does not depend solely on the events of the day. Good news is not going to necessarily make you happy. And also, if you get some bad news, it doesn’t mean that your mood has to go through a downward spiral. What matters is that your body and your mind are strong enough to keep you as balanced as possible. Some foods make you happy. Here they are.

Thoughts, actions, the behavior of others can hurt us or strengthen us. But in the end, what can make you happy, happier, the happiest is actually yourself. If you pay some attention to what you eat, part of the “battle” with everyday life is already won! Here is what foods help, according to science.

Foods Make You Happy: Bliss on a Plate

The secret to happiness depends partly on what you’re making in your kitchen.

Foods make you happy: 7 to know

1. Salmon

It contains 11 of the most important vitamins and minerals to boost your daily happiness levels, which makes it perhaps the best option for your happiness diet. One of the reasons for salmon’s effect on your state of mind is the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-depressive effects, but also increase brain health and lower the risk of having heart disease.

There’s also a large amount of vitamin B12, which helps build new brain cells, but when there’s too little of it in your system, that can lead to depression, restlessness, and aggressive behavior. Also, the presence of magnesium in salmon means that eating this type of fish will calm your mind, nerves, and muscles, for more relaxation all around. Here are plenty of recipes to help you put more salmon on your plate.

2. Jalapenos

Maybe the burning sensation you feel when eating spicy food isn’t exactly what you associate with happiness (or maybe you do, then good for you!). But jalapeno and especially its spicier parts help with lifting up your spirits. Jalapenos are spicy thanks to the compound capsaicin, which helps your body release endorphins, just like it happens after sex or exercise.

Capsaicin has other benefits as well. It might help prevent cancer and it protects the brain during liver failure. See more pros and cons of capsaicin right here.

Foods Make You Happy: Bliss on a Plate

Capsaicin found in jalapenos helps lift up your spirits.

3. Carrots

It’s a reason Bugs Bunny was always so calm, even when Elmer Fudd came after him at full strength. They’re one of the healthiest and crunchiest snacks you can have. They’re also mood-boosters thanks to the high amounts of vitamin C they contain.

Just one carrot has five times the recommended daily amount of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which protects your brain from damage and keeps your skin healthy. For a high dose of vitamin C, you can also try having some grapefruits. They’re also rich in iron and have less sugar than oranges, so they’re definitely the healthier option among citrus fruit.

4. Butternut squash

It’s rich in betain, which your brain uses to form the natural antidepressant SAM-e, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Butternut squash also has plenty of antioxidants which promote a long, happy life.

Betain is a significant component of many other foods, such as wheat, shellfish, spinach, and sugar beets.

Foods Make You Happy: Bliss on a Plate

Your brain turns the betain found in butternut squash to a natural antidepressant.

5. Coffee

More than a few studies have shown the connection between this morning drink and an overall positive outlook on life. Researchers have so far found out that drinking your morning coffee is linked to energy, kindness, and pleasure, while coffee enjoyed with loved ones is associated with affection, friendship, and satisfaction.

A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine found that women who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day were 15 percent less likely to develop depression over a decade, as opposed to those who only had one daily cup.

6. Watermelon

Not many foods make you happy like watermelon does. It’s good for your state of mind thanks to lycopene, the same ingredient responsible for the wonderful red color of the fruit. Watermelon also prevents the buildup of interleukin-6, which was linked by scientists with developing depression. It’s also fresh and quite versatile.

Watermelon is a good menu option because it also prevents the aging of your skin, preserving your youth, all the while helping you shed some unwanted weight. Other studies have shown this fruit’s ability to protect you against various cancers and also help with infertility.

Foods Make You Happy: Bliss on a Plate

The ingredient that makes your watermelon so red can also uplift your mood.

7. Garlic

It’s tasty, smelly, and very rich in chromium. And Psychology Today called this mineral “natural Prozac” because it has a strong hand in regulating your serotonin levels. It has been proven to reduce your aches and calm your mind. Science is further researching the possibility of chromium helping with mental issues such as depression. If you’re not very into garlic, try some of these other chromium-rich foods like onions, leeks, shallots, and scallions.

Bottom line? Foods make you happy and with a good, healthy diet, comes an even better mood.

I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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