Food to boost your mood and make you happy

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No one can deny the rush of happiness that comes from a spoonful (or five) of chocolate ice cream or that satisfying first bite of avocado on toast.
But there’s actually a science to why these foods, and a number of others, can boost our moods and instantly make our days feel brighter.
The foods range from dinner staples like oily fish, to the transporting powers that can come with a whiff of coconut.
And, thankfully, you probably already have most in your refrigerator or pantry at home.
Avocado is one of nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s top five mood boosters.
She revealed that the beloved superfood is packed with tyrosine, a precursor that helps the body produce dopamine – known as the brain’s pleasure centre.
A spike of dopamine in the body leads to increased feelings of reward and motivation, Zoe told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Avocados also contain more folic acid than any other fruit.
The B vitamin is not only especially beneficial to pregnant women, but helps reduce homocysteine, an amino acid linked to anxiety and depression, in the body.
Avocados are also packed with Omega-3, which have long been tied to improving eyesight and heart health.
But the fatty acids have also been linked to helping with depression and anxiety, which is why salmon is another one of Zoe’s top mood boosters.
The oily fish is full of the fatty acids, which our bodies are unable to naturally produce, and help increase both dopamine and serotonin in the body.
Adding a side of brown rice or another healthy carb to your fish is the key to creating a mood-boosting dish.
Research has linked carbohydrates to the production of serotonin, a natural mood stabiliser linked to low levels of depression.
Carbs have long been seen as the devil when it comes to weight loss, but there’s nothing healthy about cutting out these energy boosters.
Australian nutritionist Lyndi Cohen makes sure to incorporate carbs into her own diet to help cope with the clinical anxiety she was diagnosed with in 2010.
‘Lots of vegetables and legumes [will provide] slow burning carbohydrates, which help to keep your mood and hormones more stable,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
Another supposed bad food that is actually good for your mood? Chocolate, of course.
Dark chocolate has actually been linked to reducing stress hormones, such as cortisol, as well as lowering blood pressure.
One study found that men who consumed dark chocolate and then had to undergo a stressful situation two hours later had significantly lower levels of stress hormones compared to the placebo group.
And another US study concluded that the daily consumption of 40 grams of dark and milk chocolate was an effective way to reduce stress in females.
Looking for a super mood-spiking snack? Bananas dipped in chocolate will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but give you that much needed afternoon boost.
Bananas are packed with the amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses to create serotonin, according to Zoe.

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