You might be tempted to think that the foods you put into your body have little to no impact on your mood and overall emotional state, but did you know the opposite is actually true? When you put unhealthy food into your body you are eliminating vital nutrients the brain needs to keep you functioning at a high level. When the body doesn’t get what it needs it goes into a state of malnourishment, which can affect you negatively in a variety of ways. Even though it may feel like you are eating enough food, your body won’t recognize it as such, and when that happens you have a very real problem on your hands—your body’s health deteriorates and so does your happiness.
You can blame our nutrition and mood problems on the Western Diet or a complete lack of food education, but either way you look at it our world is being overfed and undernourished on a daily basis. If the high fat, protein and carbohydrate count of the foods we consume isn’t bad enough, keep in mind that we are also being exposed regularly to pesticides and preservatives that are poisoning our bodies a little bit at a time. Those damaging chemicals combined with the overabundance of processed and fatty foods in our diets are causing more people to experience mood swings, anxiety, and even severe depression.
If you are one of the millions of people in the world that want to take control of your health and your happiness, what do you do? Instead of opting for an extreme diet that damages your body and makes you prone to binging, what you need is a balanced diet that consists of whole foods that provides you with nutrients you need to stay happy and healthy for years to come. If you need a starting point, check out these 3 ways to eat for happiness.
#1: Eliminate Processed Foods
When it comes down to it, processed foods are nothing but empty calories that provide no nutritional value whatsoever. Have you ever noticed that you feel sluggish, fatigued, and have a difficult time focusing after you have a cheeseburger and fries from the drive-thru? Now that you have that image in your head, think about how you feel after having a large salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, vegetables, nuts, low-fat cheese, and light dressing. Typically people feel much more energized and focused after a meal that consists of vegetables, slow-digesting carbohydrates and lean protein, because they’re getting complete nutritional value in every bite. Eliminating processed foods will also help you keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
#2: Don’t be Afraid of Consuming Fat
When I say don’t be afraid of fats, I’m not giving you the green light to down a gallon of soda and a 10 oz bag of potato chips every day. When it comes to fat, there are good fats and bad fats. The good fats (Omega 3-Fats) are found in foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil, fish, and grass-fed meat and pasture-raised eggs. The bad fats (saturated fats) are found in butter, fatty animal products, fried foods, chips, and desserts. When you have a diet that includes omega-3 essential fatty acids you are equipping yourself with nutritional armor of sorts. Research shows that healthy fats can protect your brain from mood disorders and reduce the effect of depression. Just try to avoid the saturated fats, as they will make depression, anxiety and mood swings much worse.
#3: Go Organic When Possible
Though organic food is definitely more expensive than non-organic food, the health benefits of organic food make it the best choice for those who want to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. Non-organic food is normally sprayed with pesticides and chemicals before it becomes available at the store, so you never know the harm you’re doing to your body when you consume it. On the other hand, organic food is not treated with those pesticides, so it’s easier on your body and better for your brain health. If you want to gradually make the move to organic, it’s best to begin by purchasing organic apples, peaches and celeries, as those foods typically rank the highest in terms of the amount of contaminants they contain. – Kyle Hunt
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