Foods For Happy Brains

I heart round up posts.  All week I look forward to when my beloved Disney Blog does their “Saturday Six”.  It doesn’t hurt that Saturday Six posts also mean it’s Saturday, which means waffles and relaxation.  Which is pretty much the same thing as pure joy.  So I am going to jump on this whole bandwagon because it means I get to nerd out for a minute and that is also my happy place.  Disney nerding out?  Oh man, my brain will just explode.

So today I wanted to focus on good mood food.  Food that makes you happy.  Which to me is one of the most interesting topics.  Did you know that the stomach is also sometimes referred to as “the second brain”?  About 90% of the body’s serotonin is found in the guts, so it just makes sense that the food you are putting in there also affects happiness and mood.  Here are 6 foods to add to your regular routine for bonus smiles.

  1. Walnuts – the look like brains because they are good for your brains!!  The brain is 60% fat, and omega 3s (found in walnuts) are an important structural component of the brain.  Sufficient amounts of omega 3s can improve your mood, memory, and protect you from depression.
  2. Turmeric – inflammation has been linked to depression, and turmeric is one of those magical foods that is incredible at fighting inflammation.
  3. Mushrooms – I have mentioned before that mushrooms, like humans, produce vitamin D in the sun.  Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, and mushrooms are an easy and super yummy way to get your dose!
  4. Spirulina – contains tryptophan which gets turned into serotonin in the body (which then gets turned into melatonin)
  5. Probiotics – ok, so it’s not really a food.  You can get these from yogurt with active live cultures, or from real fermented vegetables (my current favorite since dairy and I aren’t hanging these days and I don’t like all the stuff that gets added to non dairy yogurts I have found.  Also, pickles are delicious.  It’s a fact.)  I have been buying pickles that say they are fermented and not pasteurized (which kills those good bugs), I have also seen fermented beets and sauerkraut at the food store or natural health food store.  The idea of probiotics goes back to the whole 2nd brain thing, and having these good bacteria in your gut has been found to help fight depression and improve your mood!
  6. Chickpeas – these delicious little beans are high in folate.  Research has linked higher levels of folate with decreased incidence of depression, increased mood, and clearer thinking.

 

You can click on any of these foods for links to recipes using them!!

So let’s go eat some smile fuel!!! :)

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