Ditch those sinful comfort foods like cookies and fries for a healthy diet of whole grains, veggies, and seafood. These can lower your depression risk by up to 40%. “The typical comfort foods that are packaged or fried can actually make you feel worse. They’re high in omega-6 fatty acids, which reduce the influence of mood-boosting omega-3s,” says The Happiness Diet author Drew Ramsey, M.D. Here are some foods that can make you happy.
#1 BEET GREENS
Don’t toss the tops, mix them with roasted root for a delicious salad. They’re loaded with antioxidants like vitamin K, which fights stress by eliminating free radicals in your body, as well as a healthy dose of folate; studies have linked that deficiency of vitamin B leads to depression.
#2 PUMPKIN SEEDS
Toast them and add to salads, yogurt, or even a smoothie for a natural source of the amino acid tryptophan, which your body converts to feel good hormone serotonin. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of magnesium, another mineral proven to lift the spirits.
These molluscs contain vitamin B12, which helps your body make the mood-boosting neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. They are also packed with omega-3s and zinc, which increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that shields the brain from anxiety-related damage and may protect against mood disorders.
In addition to vitamin B12 and folate, eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient that your brain uses to regulate your emotions. The yolks are also full of carotenoids, which studies have linked to an increase in optimism.