If you’re in a funk you just can’t seem to shake it may be time to open your fridge. According to ScienceDaily, new research shows that certain foods have naturally occurring mood-enhancing properties that show some similarity to valproic acid, a “widely-used mood-stabilizing prescription drug.” The idea is that these foods — chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and teas — help boost mood in a similar way (though not recommended for treating severe mood disorders).
Personally, it comes as no surprise that eating chocolate can improve your mood — just thinking about it improves my mood. This is far from the first study to make the food-mood connection. A recent CBS article explores the terrifying idea that stress can shrink your brain, but that eating omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 (while limiting refined sugars and carbohydrates) can help counter the effects. And in a related story, Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of The Happiness Diet, suggests getting a mood boost from fresh eggs, cherry tomatoes, dark chocolate, red beans, greek yogurt and anchovies.
It’s not just what we eat but how we eat that relates to mood. There’s something immensely satisfying about sitting down to a real meal – whether you’ve prepared it yourself or allowed someone else to do it. We all respond differently to things but I know that my stress levels only increase when dinner involves eating a muffin while power walking to the next thing. Preparing something healthy, and eating it with someone you love is far more therapeutic than grabbing a slice of pizza in front of the TV and then hitting the sack.
What foods make you the happiest?