Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Meals

Research shows that certain foods can help keep hormones and brain chemicals balanced, resulting in a sunnier, less-stressed-out state of mind. (Shape March 2012)

Here are some foods to help keep you happy - sorry, "happy meals" are not on the list...

Peppers - packed with vitamin C which can inhibit the production of the stress hormone, cortisol

Walnuts - can boost levels of serotonin, one of the brain's primary mood-regulating neurotransmitters and increases feelings of well-being

Chickpeas - good source of folate, a type of B vitamin, necessary for the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure

Sardines - loaded with omega-3, which helps people feel less anxious

Blue potatoes -  the color is courtesy of anthocyanins, antioxidants that provide neuro-protective benefits including bolstering short-term memory and reducing mood-killing inflammation;  skins are loaded with iodine, a diet-derived nutrient essential for life, and one that helps regulate the thyroid

Sunflower Seeds and Swiss Chard - contain magnesium which is important in dopamine production

Brazil nuts - great source of selenium, an antioxidant

Small amounts of dark chocolate - positive effects on brain endorphins

Asparagus - a top source of tryptophan, which serves as a basis for the creation of serotonin and also contains high levels of folate;  good to add to the menu if you plan on drinking - enzymes in asparagus are highly effective in breaking down alcohol in your system, preventing a hangover

Avocados - excellent source of vitamin B, which is essential for creation of serotonin and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure

Honey - packed with beneficial compounds such as quercetin and kaempferol that help clean up free radicals and reduce inflammation

Sources:  Shape, WebMD, Health on Today

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  1. Those blue potatoes are really cool looking!

  2. Hey, and I like most of those things... not a huge fan of chickpeas but mashed into hummus or dip and I will eat them.

    I love those purpley blue potatoes... dont' get them too often here but I do try to get some when I see them.

    Good list. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Oh! I love this post! Thank you, thank you! I love chickpeas, but I had no idea they had these health benefits.

    This is a great resource for me, thanks for putting it together.


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