Going beyond a healthy, balanced diet, there are some staples of the modern diet that make a bigger impact on our happiness than others. The key to these superfoods is in the micronutrient density.
Micronutrients like vitamins and antioxidants are important to support healthy brain function and other bodily processes. But specifically, the deficiency of many of these micronutrients has been proven to contribute to depression.
Researchers and medical professionals agree that the best source of micronutrients is from food, not pills. So what foods should you eat to promote happiness and keep depression at bay?
Beta carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants. When consumed as food, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A, important for vision, mood, memory, and learning.
Most well-known for its immune-boosting property, a deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to fatigue and depression.
Citruses like oranges or grapefruit
The body uses vitamin E during periods of stress or anxiety which can lead to deficiencies and more intense depression and anxiety.
Nuts and Seeds
The B Vitamins are a group of vitamins are a group of 8 micronutrients that include the likes of niacin, riboflavin, folate, and biotin. B6, B9 and B12 are most commonly associated with relieving depressive symptoms and promoting happiness.
Leafy Greens like spinach or kale
Organ meats like liver
Omega-3s are a healthy fat essential for brain function. These fats must be consumed from diet or supplement and may be as important to your mental health and happiness as they are to your cognitive health.
A variety of fruits and vegetables is more than just a low-calorie recommendation. We get important micronutrients from the leafiest and most colorful fruits and vegetables consumed through diet.
It is helpful that these same foods are low in calories and often high in water content, helping to promote a healthy weight. But the overall nutrient evaluation of so-called superfoods like spinach and chia seeds shows that they provide impressive amounts of important vitamins that support our moods and mental health, allowing us to live happier lives.