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9 Happiness Boosting Nutrients

July 07, 2014 3 min read

Exercise is a great way to improve your mood, but did you know that there are actually scientifically proven foods to make you happier? Unfortunately there is no food that is guaranteed to cure a bad day, but these nutrients can actually alter brain chemistry to enhance your mood, and despite how many of us dive into a tub of ice cream when upset, there is no sign of ice cream here! 1. Iron
Image credit: http://woman.thenest.com/
Image credit: http://woman.thenest.com/
Iron transports oxygen around the body to support energy levels and aid muscle strength. People with an iron deficiency may experience feelings of fatigue and even depression, so it's important to keep enough iron in your body to keep your mood regulated. Researchers have allegedly found a direct link between iron and happiness. Foods containing iron are: Beef, lentils, kale and soy beans. 2. Magnesium
Image credit: http://www.batafood.com/
Image credit: http://www.batafood.com/
Magnesium is a vital mineral for maintaining your body's general health, and it plays a big role in the development of serotonin, the brain chemical which contributes to feelings of happiness. People with a magnesium deficiency may experience irritability, fatigue, depression and anxiety. To prevent mental confusion, it's important to keep your magnesium levels regulated. Foods containing magnesium are: Peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds and (Popeye's favourite) spinach. 3. Omega-3 fatty acids
Image credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Image credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
Your body doesn't naturally produce its own Omega-3, so you need to consume it regularly because it is an essential fatty acid which plays an important part in brain health. Those low in Omega-3 may experience fatigue, mood swings and memory decline, so it's vital that you eat plenty of this because, unless you consume it, your body won't have it. Foods containing Omega-3 are: Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, trout and tuna. 4. Chromium
Image credit: http://livelovefruit.com/
Image credit: http://livelovefruit.com/
Chromium is a mineral that's essential for keeping your blood sugar level stable, because insulin can't function correctly without it. Chromium also has an impact on the levels of serotonin (as mentioned earlier; the happy brain chemical), so keeping your levels steady can contribute to a boost in happiness. Foods containing chromium are: Broccoli, grape juice and turkey. 5. Folate
Image credit: http://kentfoodapp.com/
Image credit: http://kentfoodapp.com/
Your body needs folate, often referred to as folic acid, to create new cells and support serotonin regulation (which keeps your moods stable). A folate deficiency can cause fatigue, as well as lower levels of serotonin, therefore unbalanced moods. Foods containing folate are: Spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts and avocado. 6. Zinc
Image credit: http://www.gourmetstore.com/
Image credit: http://www.gourmetstore.com/
Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system and, those who have a zinc deficiency will suffer from a weakened immune system as well as loss of appetite, anaemia and possibly depression. There have even been researchers who have found that zinc can actually help to treat depression! Foods containing zinc are:  Cashew nuts, pork and pumpkin seeds. 7. Vitamin D
Image credit: http://www.food.newstipstricks.com/
Image credit: http://www.food.newstipstricks.com/
Your immune system also relies heavily on Vitamin D as it helps to regulate cell growth and, when paired with calcium, protects the bones. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium into the body. As Vitamin D is also a great help at boosting your serotonin levels, deficiencies may lead to depression, so be sure to keep your levels steady. Sunlight is actually a great source of Vitamin D, but don't let yourself get sunburn, because that definitely won't make you feel happy! Foods containing Vitamin D are: Cod liver oil, salmon and milk. 8. Vitamin B12
Image credit: http://www.muscleprodigy.com/
Image credit: http://www.muscleprodigy.com/
Vitamin B12 plays a big role in the creation of red blood cells and nerves. Low levels of Vitamin B12 may lead to paranoia, fatigue and even depression. So, by keeping your Vitamin B12 levels consistent, you will promote great brain health. Foods containing Vitamin B12 are:  Trout, salmon and tuna. 9. Vitamin B6 
Image credit: http://www.easybean.co.uk/
Image credit: http://www.easybean.co.uk/
The production of your body's neurotransmitters (the things that send signals from your brain around your body) relies heavily on Vitamin B6; it is essential for regulating brain function. People with a deficiency in Vitamin B6 may have short-term anaemia, a weakened immune system and confusion. Foods containing Vitamin B6 are: Chickpeas, tuna, salmon and chicken. For more articles like this, please follow my blog. Picture credit for featured image: http://www.texasenterprise.utexas.edu/   Sources: http://extrahappiness.com/happiness/?p=2031 http://m.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/8-scientifically-proven-nutrients-that-boost-happiness/ http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/mood-boosting-foods?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-womenshealth-_-content-food-_-FoodMoodBoost http://greatist.com/happiness/nutrients-boost-mood http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20340397,00.html http://www.bmj.com/content/292/6526/969 http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/herbs-vitamins-and-supplements-used-to-enhance-mood?page=1 http://www.foodforthebrain.org/nutrition-solutions/depression/about-depression.aspx http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/10-nutrients-that-can-lift-your-spirits/2014/01/14/05f4e514-7a4d-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_story.html

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