A recipe for health: the ‘happiness diet’
Can eating certain food make us happy? According to new claims, there is one type of diet that can alter our moods for the better.
We might feel a rush of happiness at the thought of that big tub of Ben and Jerrie’s cookie dough ice cream sitting in the freezer, or excitement for that big, thick, steaming cheese-smothered pizza waiting on the table. But – do we feel so happy after the food’s been eaten?
Experts believe diets high in saturated fat and sugar can lower our happiness and concentration levels, as well as being bad for our bodies. However, a diet low in calories and essential fats can have an equally detrimental effect on our cognitive functions – can those limp watercress salads and slimming shakes really make us feel happy?
According to Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, U.S. authors of the newly launched book ‘The Happiness Diet’, it is possible for us to munch our way to health without compromising on happiness.
So what’s the secret?
Graham and Ramsey believe the secret to happiness lies in five essential ingredients:
1. Iodine – this helps keep the thyroid healthy. Underactive thyroid is associated with depression, behavioural problems, weight gain, cancer, heart disease and poor memory among other problems. Good sources of iodine include:
- potato skin.
2. Calcium – calcium is thought to release ‘happy hormones’. Calcium deficiency has been thought to cause anxiety, low mood, impaired memory and irritability. Hormone imbalances can also cause weight gain and increased symptoms of PMS. Good sources of calcium include:
3. Magnesium – magnesium is thought to have helped treat clinical depression and may be able to ease nerves and anxiety. Good sources include:
- green leaves
- sunflower seeds
- whole grains.
4. Vitamin D – absorbed through our skin from the sun’s rays, vitamin D is thought to boost the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is thought to induce low mood and depression.
5. Fibre – studies show that diets low in fibre are linked to depression and a rise in suicide risk. Fibre can reduce inflammation, easing symptoms of IBS and balancing sugar and insulin levels in the blood. Good sources include:
- whole grain
- green leafy vegetables.
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