What you eat is an important part of how you feel!  There are foods that can improve your memory and brain health, foods that can help you sleep more restfully, and now foods that will just make you feel better.  These mood-boosting foods are loaded with the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to feel happy and healthy.  Add a few to your diet and spend more time with a sprightly smile on your face!

Milk

Milk  contains a good amount of tryptophan, which the brain needs in order to make serotonin.  Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that greatly affects mood, and is known to have calming, happy-making effects.  In addition, milk contains anti-oxidants that destroy free-radicals associated with stress.

Poultry

Chicken and turkey are high in phenylalanine, an animo acid that the brain converts to dopamine; dopamine is a neurochemical known to elevate mood and motivation.  Additionally, eating proteins helps slow the absorption of carbohydrate in the blood, which can leave you feeling more upbeat and productive.

Fish

Fish like mackerel and salmon are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids which boost serotonin levels and prime serotonin receptors (essentially enhancing your brain's receptiveness to the neurotransmitter).  It's also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, which are an important part of the synthesis of serotonin.

Dark Chocolate

As we've mentioned before, dark chocolate is a great mood booster because it contains a fair amount of tryptophan, stimulates the brain's opioid production, and because it tastes great!  With the increased serotonin and dopamine, you will feel calmer and happier, and with the great-tasting treat, you'll just feel good anyway.

Blueberries

These little blue berries are full of great antioxidants that will reduce stress-causing free radicals, in addition to vitamin C, which reduces the body's release of cortisol (a natural hormone that triggers the "flight or fight" response to stress), and thus, makes you calmer and happier.  

Whole Grains

Complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta and whole grain rice boost serotonin levels, making you feel calm and at ease.  Plus, they're digested very slowly, keeping you full, energized, and happy for much longer than simple carbohydrates like white bread would.    

Photo Credits: Shiny Cooking, Cooking Light, The Food Enquirer, Culinary Cafe, Men's Health 

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