These foods are packed full of nutrients scientifically proven to make you happier! 

Winter blues got you down? Need to find that pep in your step? This can be as easy as taking a trip to the grocery store. Fill your cart with foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to not only be a little bit healthier, but increase happiness and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Mood is regulated by the brain. Research has shown that certain nutrients have a profound impact on maintaining optimal healthy cognitive brain function. These studies revealed the association between foods and the brain and identified ten nutrients that can combat depression and boost our mood: calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and zinc.

Now don’t go running to the nearest health store to buy all of the supplements. Instead we would encourage you to start by incorporating whole food sources rich in these nutrients into your diet.

14 feel good foods to start eating in February! 

Bananas

We all know bananas as a potassium powerhouse, but what you may not know is that they also contain tryptophan, a brain chemical that helps to regulate mood. Bananas are also a source of B vitamin Folate. How will this make you happier? A pair of power nutrients, Folate and B12 are often paired together to treat depression. By itself, Folate has the added benefit of boosting the efficiency of antidepressants.

Berries

Certain flavors in berries have a chemical similarity to valproic acid, a prescription mood-stabilizing drug, according to research conducted by Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. The flavonoid anthocyanidin found in berries reduces inflammation, which is associated with increased rates of depression. What are flavonoids? They are powerful phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables that are antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory and immune benefits.

Quinoa

Quinoa is popular for a reason right now! OK maybe its not because of why we would like to think, but this versatile whole grain is packed with flavanoid, quercetin, which has been shown to have anti-depressant effects.

Dark Chocolate

Choc-o-holics, rejoice! The antioxidants in Dark chocolate have been found to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. Less stress + dark chocolate = more happiness

Salmon

Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve mood and fight depression, according to a study in the journal of Pharmacological Research. Bonus: Healthy fats keep your skin glowing and hair shiny. And that is enough to induce happiness in our books!

Turmeric

Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is widely used in East Asian cuisine, enhances mood and fights depression. Go get your curry on!

Green Tea

A Japanese study found that psychological stress was lower in individuals who drank five or more cups of green tea per day. Whew, that is a lot of green tea. But all those trips to the bathroom will be worth it.

Apples

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. According to the British Journal of Health Psychology, eating fruits and vegetables, like apples, produces a calming effect, creates more energy, and increases overall happiness.

Spinach

Popeye was a smart to eat spinach by the can full! (Although we might suggest opting for fresh spinach when possible.) Spinach contains folic acid, which reduces symptoms of depression and fatigue.

Mushrooms

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to depression, according to a study from the University of Melbourne, so start sautéing those mushrooms, because they are surprisingly high in vitamin D.

Coffee

We knew coffee our coffee obsession was good for something! Don’t switch to decaf just yet. According to JAMA Internal Medicine, “depression risk decreases with increasing caffeinated coffee consumption.” Woo hooooo.

Beans

Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more… energy you have. Come on guys where did you think we were going with that? According to a study by the USDA, low magnesium levels are linked to lower energy. Eat magnesium rich foods, like beans, to make sure your energy stays high throughout the day.

Walnuts

Eating walnuts can improve brain function because of their high antioxidant content, vitamins and minerals, and that they contain a large amount of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant based omega-3.

Oysters

To keep yourself cool, calm and collected, eat foods rich in zinc. Low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety, according to a study in Nutrition and Metabolic Insights. Oyster shooters anyone?

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This month’s featured recipes are easy, delicious and incorporate these 14 foods to make your weekly meal prep a littler happier!

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