What should we eat to live happily and healthily?

Can food affect how we feel? Is there a secret to live longer and happily? To all such questions, there is just one answer and that is YES!

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   When you eat a sweet snack, for an instance candy bar or a cake, you will get an instant    energy high, which is soon followed by a crashing low. This is just one of the many ways    food can affect your mood.

 Three things to keep in mind for a healthy life:
1. Implementing some basic nutrition strategies would provide framework for better mood hygiene.
2. Combining foods that have positive effect on your well-being can make you feel better
3. Avoiding foods that make you feel worse will help too.

Nutrition strategies for maintaining food

• Eat often
In a study it was found that people who eat regular meals at the same of the day every day, have steady blood sugar levels. When you eat at regular intervals, your body ensures the continuous supply of fuel, which makes you have a stable mood. Frequent dropping in blood sugar levels can be a symptom of Hypoglycemia, a health condition in which people feel a need to                                                                 eat more frequently.

• Never skip meals
Skipping meals seems like a nice idea when are trying to maintain their health and shape, but it is NOT. Breaking this myth, researchers have found that skipping meals makes our body unable to assimilate food, thus leading us to over eat the next meal. Keeping yourself from getting too hungry will avoid bad mood and the                                                                crankiness that comes with it.

• Avoid food that is bad for you
Before including mood boosting foods to your diet, it is important to know about the foods you should leave or limit on your shopping list. The major bad mood culprit is refined carbohydrate, like sugar. These simple sugars that you consume on a daily basis, such as jams, syrups and fruit juices, can cause a spike in your blood sugar level followed by a low which leaves you tired with a cranky feeling. The same kind of effect can also be seen in refined white starches such as white bread, white rice and crackers. In a study it was found that despite satisfying our taste buds, junk foods do not have any other effect on our mood. Limiting alcohol is also advised for better mood, as it is a depressant and disturbs sleep.

• Foods that boosts your mind
Here is a list of some foods to help you stay healthy and happy:

1. Protein
Addition of proteins to your meals will help in slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates in our blood and also increasing the Norepinephrine and Dopamine release, which will improve your energy and mood for a few hours after eating.
 Poultry
 Tofu
 Eggs
 Seafood
 Low-fat Greek yogurt

2. Vitamins
Vitamins can affect your health and mood on a drastic level. There are some doctor recommended vitamins that are helpful for mood. For example, vitamin B-12 and Folate help ease the depression. You can try these foods to add Folate in your diet.
 Lentils
 Oranges
 Broccoli
 Oatmeal
 Dark leafy greens

Vitamin D can help relieve disorders related to mood. Sunlight is often the best source for vitamin D. Try adding these foods for vitamin D
 Egg yolks
 Low-fat milk
 Soymilk

Include these foods to your diet for vitamin B-12
 Lean beef
 Cottage cheese
 Salmon

 

3. Fiber
Complex carbohydrates contain soluble fiber that slows down the absorption of sugar in our blood stream and also increases the serotonin levels, which is a “feel good” chemical, thus decreasing mood swings. Try these foods to include fiber
 Beans
 Peas
 Oats
 Pears
 Brussels sprouts

 

So now we have established that there is a relationship between being healthy (food) and happy (state of mind). Combining all these strategies to include foods that have positive effect on your well-being and eating them regular, can help you to feel better.

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ISHITA LOHANI has been active in the health and nutrition field from the past five years. She has a freelance career in Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle writing. She has authored two books: “Eating healthy for life” and “Weight loss tricks: Top 10 weight loss hacks”. Having a graduate degree in food science and technology, her opinion of the lifestyle front is simple yet connectable.

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