Thursday, March 22, 2012

Diet = Happiness? :)

The Happiness Diet 
We have yet to find a person who associates going on a diet with being happy. But new research reveals that changing what we eat can help regulate our mood and improve our brain health. It is also claimed to aid in weight loss (woohoo!). As Prevention* shared, this method is called the Happiness Diet!

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The Happiness Diet recommends eating food directly linked to brain function. Food is categorized into three (3) areas: foods for thought (e.g. eggs, grass-fed beef, anchovies); foods for mood (e.g. arugula, coffee, walnuts); and foods for energy (e.g. salmon, tomatoes, garlic). Foods for thought aids in improving brain functions, foods for mood helps regulate emotions, and foods for energy provides power and helps control anxiety.

Here are the basic guidelines in achieving mental well-being from the Happiness Diet: 
1) Cut down on processed food intake.
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We need to avoid processed food as they usually have high sugar content. Too much sugar consumption is found to affect key brain areas involved in regulating our mood. 

2) Have more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients called the Essential Elements of Happiness in the Happiness Diet are found in plant foods. These contribute to the optimal functioning of the brain. 

3) Choose grass-fed meat over grain-fed ones.
Whenever possible, it would be beneficial to consume grass-fed meat over grain-fed ones. Grass-fed meat contains more omega-3 fatty acids that promote formation of new brain functions. 
4) Aim for variety.
Having a wide variety of food to eat broadens the range of brain-boosting nutrients we get from our diet. This gives us a higher chance of improving our brain activities and emotional health.

For detailed information, check out our references - Prevention magazine January 2012 issue or its source The Happiness Diet book.
*January 2012, pp. 53-59

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