For a happier and healthier life

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We may not know it, but everything we eat contributes to our happiness or sadness in some way or the other. The amino acids we consume synthesise proteins that, in turn, produce hormones like serotonin and melatonin, which help regulate anxiety, stress and even depression.

Stress and anxiety are a major part of our fast-moving lives. With increasing competition in study areas and workplaces, the pressure to work harder and excel increases day by day. It is in these times of stress that it becomes increasingly important to take care of our bodies because, after all, “a healthy mind resides in a healthy body”. We may not know it, but everything we eat contributes to our happiness or sadness in some way or the other. The amino acids we consume synthesise proteins that, in turn, produce hormones like serotonin and melatonin, which help regulate anxiety, stress and even depression. It is important to know which foods make you feel better and which ones get you down. Here are some tips for a happier and healthier life:

Be a nutcracker!

 

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A good way to increase selenium and keep you from getting cranky is by having a few mixed nuts a day. Brazil nuts and walnuts especially boost your morale and make your day a little brighter.

Come over to the dark side

 

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Dark chocolate is rich in Tryptophan, which helps in producing neuro-chemicals that relax the brain. Always buy chocolates that are high in cocoa but low in sugar. Dark chocolate also contains several antioxidants that will keep your heart happy.

Try some chai

 

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Green Tea is rich in L-theanine, an amino acid that helps in relaxation while reducing stress and enhancing your mood. It also promotes weight loss and reduces the risk of heart-related diseases!Spinach contains folic acid, which alleviates depression and reduces fatigue. Spinach also has a high content of Magnesium that helps keep our nerves from getting overexcited. Moral of the story? Pay attention to Popeye!

No grain, no gain

 

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Quercetin, a flavonoid found in Quinoa, has been shown to have antidepressant effects. It contains a good amount of iron, magnesium, fibre and is high in protein. It is also good for Blood Sugar control due to its low Glycemic Index.

Green is for go

 

Perk up now! 5 strength snacks that will help you refresh with an stressful time

 

Spinach contains folic acid, which alleviates depression and reduces fatigue. Spinach also has a high content of Magnesium that helps keep our nerves from getting overexcited. Moral of the story? Pay attention to Popeye!

Happy herbivores

 

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Basil also contains a good amount of magnesium as well as anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb helps people with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. It will also give you a boost of potassium, calcium and vitamin C! Add the herb as a final touch to your cooking process to prevent the loss of its essence.

Go bananas!

 

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Along with being a good source of potassium, bananas also contain vitamin B9 (folate) and tryptophan, both of which help battle depression and regulate mood.

Spice it up!

 

Perk up now! 5 strength snacks that will help you refresh with an stressful time

 

The curcumin in Turmeric enhances your mood and helps fight depression. It also is a great antioxidant. Did you know that Turmeric helps regulate neurotransmitters and vital protein levels in the brain? Moreover, it gives a great flavour and colour to all your dishes, so use it in your recipes often to gain the maximum happy benefits.

Not just a fungi

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A deficiency in Vitamin D has been linked to depression. Mushrooms have high levels of Vitamin D and can help turn that frown upside down! Mushrooms also have high levels of protein, fibre, vitamin C and calcium.

Important to note: 

What one must also take note of are foods that you should avoid. These foods get you down, put you in a bad mood and increase stress and anxiety.

Not so sweet

 

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Sugar causes blood glucose levels to elevate, which in turn decreases the level of a protein that encourages the growth of neurons and synapses. This makes your brain function at a lower level and increases chances of depression

Slow and steady wins the race!

 

Perk up now! 5 strength snacks that will help you refresh with an stressful time

 

People who eat fast food are 51 per cent more likely to develop depression than those who don’t. That is not to say that all fast food is bad, just that everything should be consumed in moderation

Say no to “namak”

 

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Foods that have a high salt content disrupt your neurological system and can cause fatigue. An overexerted body could easily lead to a distorted emotional state. An excess of salt also leads to bloating, fluid retention and weight gain.

Sleep well

 

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Caffeine in drinks like coffee and black tea is known to disrupt sleep. An interrupted sleep can cause a negative mental state as the amount of sleep you get is directly related to your mood.

Stay natural

 

Perk up now! 5 strength snacks that will help you refresh with an stressful time

 

Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame block the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, and cause mood dips, headaches, and even depression.

Better go with butter

 

Perk up now! 5 strength snacks that will help you refresh with an stressful time

 

Butter replacements like margarine are produced with fats that increase inflammation and have high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. These block out omega-3 fatty acids, which are natural mood enhancers. This not only ruins your mood but also your insulin levels.

Add some colour!

Perk up now! 5 strength snacks that will help you refresh with an stressful time

 

When you separate egg whites from the yolk, you are also separating all the nutrients! Egg yolks are high in chlorine, which boosts memory. They also contain vitamin B and proteins, which help keep our mood balanced.

Over to you

Mental health is just as important as physical health and as our responsibilities increase so do our stress levels. It is therefore important to eat healthy and consume foods that not only give us necessary nutrients but also boost our morale and help us live a more relaxed and stress free life.

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