Vegetarian + Vegan Smiling happy watermelon

Published on August 5th, 2011 | by Melanie Kozlan

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Mood-Boosting Foods: Healthy Foods That Make You Happier

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Fruits like watermelon are mood-boosting foods

Finding yourself inexplicably gloomy or a little depressed from the miserable weather?  Feeling down might be an indicator that you’re missing out on essential mood-boosting nutrients. Here’s a list of healthy foods proven to make you feel instantly happier.

Tryptophan-Rich Foods

Tryptophan is one of the ten essential amino acids and helps our brains produce serotonin, which makes us feel relaxed and in control. Food that has tryptophan can help fight depression, insomnia and anxiety. Foods containing tryptophan include:

  • Milk (Vegan? Drink hemp milk- hemp seeds contain all ten essential amino acids!)
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Bananas
  • Avocados

For the full effect of tryptophan it is best to eat these items uncooked.

Fruits Rich in Antioxidants & Vitamin C

Fruit like blueberries and oranges are known to contain a high amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, both are helpful for reducing feelings of stress.

Vegetables Rich in Antioxidants & Folic Acid

Spinach, broccoli and kale are full of folic acid which help produce serotonin, just like tryptophan does.

Chocolate

Contains anadamine, a chemical naturally found in the brain that is know to  brighten our mood and make us feel happier. Enjoy in moderation as the sugar in chocolate might contribute to other issues. Don’t worry, vegan friends! There are lots of vegan chocolate options out there.

Nuts

Nuts are rich in minerals, protein and omega-3 fats. Omega-3 is not only good for both your heart and brain, large doses of it have been used to treat clinical depression. Nuts also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that combats stress. Brazilian nuts such as cashews, almonds and pistachios have been proven to lower blood pressure and calm our nervous system.

Melanie Kozlan is the content director of Four Green Steps.com- The World’s largest Green marketplace!

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by SarahMcManiman]

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About the Author

Melanie Kozlan is the Senior Content Director of Four Green Steps.com-the world's largest Green marketplace! Four Green Steps offers an eco-alternative to virtually everything, as well as delicious tips for living green, vegan & vegetarian recipes and a free ecological curriculum used all over the world. www.fourgreensteps.com



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