Some foods like battered onion rings or saucy wings make us feel great while we’re eating them – only to betray us with bloated, guilty, and ‘blah’ feelings as we wipe away the crumbs.
But other foods, which may not give the same instantaneous euphoria as a Baconator, have been scientifically proven to make us feel better and happy.
These are five such foods:
Raw Walnuts & Cashews
Just an ounce of walnuts offers four grams of protein, and two grams of fiber. The former helps us feel sated and regulates blood-sugar levels, while the latter also helps fill you up, says New York nutritionist Elisa Zied, registered dietitian and author of “Younger Next Week.”
They also possess a strong source of magnesium and phosphorus; higher levels of magnesium is linked to reduced symptoms of depression.
Walnuts have the same cell-protecting antioxidants, and are low in carbohydrates, meaning they won’t send blood sugar or insulin levels in flux.
“Insulin spikes are a reason people’s moods crap out, particularly in late afternoon,” said Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and co-author of “The Happiness Diet.”
You get a lot from a single cup of kale – vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, and fiber, says Zied.
But that’s not all: the veggie is also high in copper, a trace mineral responsible for the support of many vital systems in our body.
“[Kale] is one of the healthiest foods on the planet,” Ramsay puts simply.
“Dark chocolate is one of the biggest mood boosters,” says Ramsey.
Dark chocolate is one of the items on this list that does give you that instant sense of feeling good, as well as a high content of cacao – giving the sweet more antioxidant power than most other foods.
“Oysters are incredibly low in calories and decrease inflammation,” says New York nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D. and author of “Read It before You Eat It.”
Taub-Dix says the heart-healthy seafood makes us feel good because they boost our body’s overall circulation. Not to mention, they’ve long been considered an aphrodisiac.
“Oysters are always on the menu around Valentine’s Day,” says Taub-Dix.
Oysters happen to be a great source of zinc, too. The mineral is actually undervalued by nutritionists, despite its key role in helping out body battle stress, and is an essential element in our brain that helps regulate mood and memory.
As Ramsey says, they’re quite literally the “perfect brain food.”
These magical beans don’t just lift your mood during a groggy morning.
The caffeine content in coffee helps boost a person’s mental focus, alertness, and even their athletic performance and potential. Drinking coffee has also been linked to warding off Type 2 diabetes, and lowering the risk of depression.
But, ironically, the less you consume, the more effective it works. Just stay away from very sugary coffee drinks, warns Ramsey, which’ll create those unwelcome feelings of bloating that we’re trying to avoid here.
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