Good Foods for Good Moods

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Good health puts a smile on your face.

The human body is a complex computer of chemicals and electrical impulses. As with any machine, it reacts differently depending on the kind of fuel you put in it. You ever tried putting regular gasoline in a high-end, fancy car? It gets all sputter-y and dirty, because that’s not the ideal fuel. Just as our bodies need the right kind of nutrients, our brain also needs certain chemicals and vitamins to keep us in a good mood. Eating healthier won’t make your personality do a complete 180, but you may find it easier to happy when your body has the right stuff.

When you think of “mood-boosting” foods, you probably think of comfort foods like desserts and fried stuff; high in saturated fat and sugar. Certainly, they taste good and will make you happy for a time, but the eventual blow-back isn’t really worth the overindulgence. What you really want are foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is vital for the development of your brain; that’s why fish, which is high in omega-3, is called brain food. According to recent studies, though, omega-3 is also good for reducing things like depression and aggression.

So where does one get omega-3? Fish, as I said, is a good start. Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and sardines are packed with the stuff. If you don’t dig on gills, though, you can get omega-3, as well as similar nutrients like vitamin D and vitamin B, from things like green vegetables, probiotics like yogurt and kimchi, whole grains, egg yolks, and fortified milk. If you absolutely have to have something sweet, dark chocolate is a good option, albeit one best enjoyed in moderation. A little nip of caffeine from coffee or tea is good if you need a quick pick-me-up, just mind the crash.