Earlier in Part-1 of “Wanna Look Good? Don’t Worry, Eat Happy!” we learned that happy food is important in maintaining a healthy and positive personal image.
Here, we will talk about the next 3 foods that can help boost our daily mood, making us feel good – hence helping us to look good.
#4: Happy food to trigger the Natural High – Serotonin and Tryptophan
You know that calm, relaxed feeling that we get after a full meal? Our body produces Serotonin, also known as the “happy hormone” which exerts powerful influence over our mood, emotion, memory, pain sensation, sleep habits, appetite and cravings. In order for our body to make serotonin, we need to have regular intake of Tryptophan – and amino acid that our body cannot produce on its own.
Therefore, it is important to include poultry, beef, eggs and nuts in our diet to ensure a healthy level of serotonin production to keep us smiling.
Want to turbo-boost the trypto-charge? Just add some carbs… it’s definitely a happy mix!
#5: Simple happy food – the Salad
We all know that it’s good to go green – and salad is no different. Spinach is the king of greens, so go for spinach instead of romaine lettuce as it provides more B vitamin folate per ounce.
Folate in the blood is linked to a decrease in negative mood and fuzzy thinking. As it is water-soluble and our body does not store it, therefore, we need a continuous supply of it from the food that we eat.
#6: Spice of Life
When it comes to ‘happy food’ – the spicier the better! There are numerous benefits to adding spices to our food. Take turmeric (curcumin) for an example: it has natural antidepressant qualities and also helps in the process of serotonin production in our body.
It recommended that we add turmeric in our cooking rather than taking it on its own (in powdered form) because its effectiveness is activated by heat. We can also add a sprinkle of crushed black pepper to boost our body’s absorption of curcumin.
Next, go liberal with the chilies. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chilies that ‘kick’, sets off pain receptors in the mouth. This in turn, sends a message to our brain to release the ‘feel-good’ endorphins. This mood-lifting effect is actually similar to the endorphin rush that we get after a good workout in the gym.
Remember that for us to look good, we must feel good. It is so important to take care of our physical and mental wellbeing – because we are what we eat.
Don’t miss our Part-3 of how we Look Good by ‘eating’ happy foods, featuring great happy snacks!
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By Kit Sani Barrett, principal consultant & trainer at ImageXchange. She contributes various articles relating to beauty, style, business, home & lifestyle.