You are what you eat. What you may not realize is that your emotions can be influenced by the food you consume. For instance, people who consume a lot of caffeine tend to be hyper. If you have a high-carb diet, you might feel sluggish and struggle with concentration. Food fuels every organ in your body, including your brain, which is responsible for controlling emotions. Therefore, consuming food that can encourage the brain to “create” positive emotions is part of a healthy lifestyle. So what’s the best food to put a smile on your face?
Sweet treats that do you good
The more stressed out you are, the more your sweet tooth awakes. Unfortunately, sweet cravings do not alleviate stress in the long term. The feel-good donut might be sweet at first. It elevates your blood sugar levels, making you feel briefly more energetic. However, your blood level drops again, making you feel tired and leading to further sugar cravings. And that’s how one donut leads to another donut. Sugar is addictive.
But did you know that some non-addictive treats could make you happy? According to nutritionists, dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, a hormone linked with stress relief and the sensation of pleasure. Consumed in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with a chocolate snack. To prevent overeating, it can be a good idea to mix coffee with chocolate. Caffeine can improve your mood and make you more focused. Its taste also reduces the sugar rush and makes you feel more energetic.
Homely food that keeps you satisfied
No food tastes quite as good as childhood recipes. The simple pastina recipe or the bean stew your mother used to serve when you were a child may not meet Michelin star requirements, but it hits the sweet spot when it comes to your mood. Indeed, the simplicity of childhood flavors brings you back to the sweet and peaceful days of your youth. Like Prousts’ famous madeleine moment, taste can connect you to the positive emotions of the past. Therefore, turning to some of your favorite dishes from your childhood can always put a smile on your face.
Heart-warming spices to taste like bliss
Spices and fragrant herbs are a tasteful addition to most recipes. But they can also transform your mood for the better. Cardamon, for instance, has properties that can even reduce anxiety and depression. A delicious cup of chai latte is a fantastic way of adding spices to your day-to-day diet, including cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Additionally, chai drinks can also be warming, helping the body regulate its temperature in winter. As the sensation of cold is often associated with negative feelings, heat can also keep these sensations at bay.
In conclusion, you can provide your body with nutrients that actively enhance your mood without putting your health at risk. Using dark chocolate, caffeine, simple childhood flavor, and spices to trick your brain into relaxing can be integral to a healthy food relationship. Food is not the enemy when you understand how to use it appropriately.
A word of warning: Healthy, mood-boosting foods are no cure to mental health issues. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety or depressive disorders, seeking professional support from your doctor is a priority. **I am not a doctor, these statements are made based solely on my own experience.**
Thank you for reading!