By Editors of Prevention
Nutrient-rich whole foods are basically edible Prozac. After a few weeks of eating clean, you may find yourself feeling happier and healthier and having fewer dips in energy. Why? The vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in fruits, veggies and other whole foods help cells do their job, so your body can operate more efficiently—in fact, a recent study found that people who eat seven or more servings of produce a day are happier and have better mental health.
And eating complex carbohydrates and whole grains—as well as lean proteins and healthy fats—keeps your blood sugar leveled and keeps you satisfied for longer periods of time, so you can avoid getting "hangry" and resist the temptation for a midafternoon cookie or coffee pick-me-up.
The joy you get from eating isn't simply a result of good flavor and mouthfeel—nutrients in certain foods can actually trigger the release of feel-good brain chemicals like dopamine.
Luckily, plenty of clean foods fit the bill. Here are 12 foods blessed with compounds that lift your spirits:
A great source of vitamin B12, clams have been proven to help fight depression and some bipolar disorders.
Also high in omega-3s, flaxseeds can help to boost your brain health, and can help to enhance your mood throughout the day.
The smell, the taste, the fact that it's pretty much undisputedly awesome for you: In fact, coffee has been linked to improved memory and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression and skin cancer. So keep tipping back that mug, just make sure it contains a quality brew.
Not only is it a top food for your liver, radishes also increase dopamine, which is directly tied to your overall mental health and mood.
Oysters will not only boost your mood, but it'll actually help you get in the mood. The libido-boosting food is a natural aphrodisiac that'll help you get frisky.
A heart-healthy superstar, the pomegranate helps to improve blood circulation and increases mood and testosterone in men.
Plain yogurt will provide a healthy dose of protein and calcium without any added sugar, and organic will ensure that no hormones, antibiotics, or GMO ingredients are present, and it's the calcium that'll help to improve your happiness.
Because they're high in vitamin D, shiitake mushrooms improve mood and energy, and also offer immune-boosting benefits.
There is a right and wrong way to eat chocolate, and a bite or two of dark chocolate can work to help you control stress and anxiety.
Adapted from Eat Clean. Stay Lean.
This article was reposted with permission from our media associate Rodale Wellness.