You really are what you eat. Food has the ability to affect your mood both positively and negatively. Here’s how dishes change the chemistry of your body and mind… and here are some that make you happy and sad.
1. Happy: Salmon
All types of fish can help you feel happier, but oilier varieties like salmon contain B-12 vitamins that help increase serotonin and increase positive feelings. Salmon is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which elevate mood and can even chase away mild depression.
2. Sad: Potato Chips
Salty potato chips are the enemy of mood-elevating fish, like salmon, because they block all the omega-3 fatty acids that help you feel happy. Many chips are fried in omega-6 acids, which can cancel out all the benefits of omega-3s, causing you to feel less happy and alert.
Same goes for most fried stuff… They may help you feel better in the short term, but the trans fats loaded in them can make your brain work less efficiently and also lead to depression if consumed in large amounts over time.
3. Happy: Coffee
Too much coffee can leave you an irritable, jittery mess, but moderate amounts in the morning have been shown to increase energy levels along with feelings of kindness and pleasure. Not to mention, drinking coffee socially can also encourage feelings of friendship and affection.
4. Happy: Blueberries
Blueberries are filled with antioxidants that stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, increasing memory and concentration for hours. In addition to boosting focus, antioxidants have been shown to prevent conditions like dementia.
5. Sad: Tofu
You wouldn’t expect a vegetarian staple to be bad for you, but studies have shown that tofu, when consumed in excessive amounts, can negatively affect memory, especially in eaters over age 68. Tofu and other soy products contain high levels of phytoestrogens, which can decrease memory function and may even cause dementia.
6. Happy: Green Tea
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and caffeine that can increase your focus. But it also contains L-Theanine, a unique compound that works alongside caffeine to release energy more steadily, avoiding the crashes that are common with caffeinated drinks.