Wanna Look Good? Don’t Worry, Eat Happy

How we present ourselves to everyone on a daily basis has a lot to do with how we take care of our body – our physical and mental wellbeing. What we put into our body (the food that we eat) is just as important as what we put on our body (what we wear).

To look good, we need to eat ‘happy’ food

We have to remind ourselves that taking care of our personal image (and professional image, too) is not just about:

  • Taking care of our personal grooming
  • Wearing the clothes that suit us (based on our body shape, wardrobe personality and personal style and profession)
  • Noting the proper dress codes for different occasions
  • Choosing best colours to wear (based on our natural colourings, ie skin, eyes and hair colour)
  • Minding our language, social manners and etiquette for different circumstances and more…

When we feel happy, we would smile more and frown less, we’d look friendlier and more pleasant to others instead of presenting a grouchy and moody persona.  Experts say that food can change the way we feel – even the crave-worthy ones have their place in a mood-boosting eating plan.

Top 6 foods to eat that can help you look good and feel happy

Let’s find out the top foods that can help us “Be Happy”. In this first part, we check out the first 3 out of 6 foods that can help us feel good.

#1: Caffeine to make us happy and look good

Some years back, Harvard School of Public Health carried out a study and found that women who drank at least two cups of coffee regularly had a 15 percent lower risk of depression than those who didn’t drink any coffee.

This could be that caffeine triggers the release of the brain chemical dopamine, which is important for sharpening focus and mind. It also contains plant-based nutrients that function much like a class of drugs that are used to treat and reduce depression.

It is helpful to remember that when we are not feeling down, chances are, it would be easier for us to pull ourselves up and be happy. This is definitely a simple way to help improve how we feel, and improve our personal image as well!

However, it should be noted that caffeine doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, and it is recommended that we should start and stop drinking coffee early in the day to avoid jitters or interrupted sleep in the night.



#2: Good fat that helps us feel and look good

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We all know about the yummy fatty snacks. Fat gives us that unparalleled satisfaction because it slows digestion, producing calming blood-sugar-evening effect.

However, it is important to note that we must choose to eat the ‘good’ fat, i.e. Omega-3. It helps to lower the rate or reduce depression and maintains healthy brain function that regulates our mood and emotion.

Try adding these into your weekly meals: oily fish such as salmon, grass-fed beef, chicken and pork, avocados and nuts (walnuts).

#3: Don’t dismiss Crucial Carbos

Round about 4pm, most of us may feel that craving or the need to snack on something. That’s due to a drop in the feel-good brain chemical serotonin.

It’s ok to give ourselves a little treat now and again. As Judith Wurtman, PhD, former MIT’s Clinical Research Center in Women’s Health suggested 25-30g of carbohydrates – equal to a cup of Cheerios – and as she puts it: “It’s a small caloric expense to pay for feeling good.”

See? Sometimes treating ourselves to some much-needed snacks can help us feel good – and look good, too!

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!

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#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.


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#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.



Let’s do a quick recap and remind ourselves that taking care of our personal image (and professional image, too) is not just about:

  • Taking care of our personal grooming
  • Wearing the clothes that suit us (based on our body shape, wardrobe personality and personal style and profession)
  • Noting the proper dress codes for different occasions
  • Choosing best colours to wear (based on our natural colourings, ie skin, eyes and hair colour)
  • Minding our language, social manners and etiquette for different circumstances and more…

Eat well to care for our body

How we present ourselves to everyone on a daily basis has a lot to do with how we take care of our body – our physical and mental wellbeing. What we put into our body (the food that we eat) is just as important as what we put on our body (what we wear).

In this last part, we look at all the yummy snacks that health experts eat for a midday boost to help them Feeeel Gooood!

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.

Green Tea + Handful of walnuts or almonds

Green tea has less caffeine than coffee but like coffee and it helps boost dopamine in the brain. The nutrient density and jolt of the fatty calories that comes with the nuts is great.



Caramel rice crackers + Tea latte

Sometimes, having a little caffeine a long with carbohydrates is a marvelous mood and energy booster. That is why the British afternoon tea makes so much sense.

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Hummus + Baby Carrots

When you’re tense, chewing is a real stress reliever. Carrots are crunch and satisfy that sweet craving while hummus is salty and provides the carbs – that’s a wonderful combination!

Water + Apple + Peanut Butter

Hydration is important and if you get a little dehydrated, you will fee the slump.  And with the fiber from the apple makes you feel full for longer and the protein in peanut butter prevents a blood-sugar spike, keeping your feeling balanced.

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.

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By Kit Sani Barrett, principal consultant & trainer at ImageXchange.  She contributes various articles relating to beauty, style, business, home & lifestyle.