I’m sure we have ALL heard that eating chocolate can help raise our mood, but what other foods can we eat for a similar result? Let’s have a look at 5 foods that ‘make you happy’ and join me for a 5 day challenge…
This post NOT meant to be the most comprehensive source of nutritional information about these 5 foods. I could go on and on for pages to share what I know and believe about their nutritional values but it is NOT my point here. I am keeping this type of information in this article as simple as possible on purpose. My main hope is to inspire you to take up the challenge and see the results for yourself.
I challenge you to have at least one of these 5 foods at least once a day for 5 days in a row. Tell me in the comments if you are willing to take up that challenge, and then come back to this page after your 5-day challenge to share your experience. Which foods did you prefer? And did you notice any difference?
- My Personal Experience
- Controversy About Eating Avocado Pits/Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Take the Challenge
- My Secret
My Personal Experience
I LOVE to eat! I am French and eating is just a cultural thing for me.
2-hour-long meals for big occasions like weddings, communions, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, were very normal when I was growing up, and still are…
I even remember that during the first internship I did when I was studying in France in the early 90s, there was a break for lunch and some people would actually go back home to have lunch and then come back to work in the afternoon! Now it’s more like eating a sandwich in 30 minutes in front of the computer!!
Little did I know back in those times that certain foods could actually help my body produce certain substances related to the feeling of happiness…
Bananas are also rich in potassium, an essential mineral in the body for regulating blood flow and blood pressure.
The beauty about bananas is that they are so easy to carry around and eat anywhere any time. They are also very easy to store outside the fridge and for a long time… You can buy them green and wait until they are ripe. And they are cheap!
Ripe bananas are easier to digest. You can recognize them by their dark spots on the skin. I usually get them as ripe as possible. I have gotten kilos and kilos of bananas for a discount or for free because the store keepers thought they were too ripe to sell at a full price.
Apart from eating plain bananas, I LOVE crushing them with a fork into a paste or mixing a few with a blender into a banana smoothie.
What about you? Do you like bananas very ripe or almost green? What’s YOUR favorite way to eat bananas?
Like bananas, avocados also contain tryptophan, one of the primary components of serotonin — a neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining mood balance.
Avocados are also rich in fatty acids and vitamin 6, among other elements essential to our body’s health.
Avocados are trickier to choose… they can get too ripe if you wait too long, but they can also be hard and tasteless if you don’t wait long enough. By now, you have hopefully developed your own test to choose your avocados. I gently press the avocado looking for the skin to bend under my fingers but not too much. I have learned to run away from air bubbles in avocados.
I love eating my avocados cuts into small pieces with a bit of salt, and sometimes with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I shall address the salt question in another post as my personal view and experience tend to differ from the mainstream view…
I also ABSOLUTELY LOVE a smoothie with an avocado, a banana and a mango! Yummy! You have to try it yourself to understand why! 🙂
What about you? What’s YOUR favorite way to eat avocados? And have you ever tried a banana/avocado/mango smoothie?
And did you know that there is a controversy about eating avocado pits/seeds? In case you would like to try it for yourself, here is an example of how to eat avocado pits/seeds.
Like bananas and avocados, pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan, one of the primary components of serotonin.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in magnesium, an essential mineral for our health, and one that we often need more of.
I have tried soaking pumpkin seeds before eating them but the results were not satisfactory so I just eat them plain or with raisins. There is something about mixing pumpkin seeds and raisins that I cannot explain here. The sensation I get when I eat them together really makes me feel that they somehow belong together but I have not yet found a nutritional explanation of why that could be.
What about you? What’s YOUR favorite way to eat pumpkin seeds? And have you ever tried mixing pumpkin seeds and raisins?
Almonds are rich in tryptophan (like bananas, avocados and pumpkin seeds), magnesium and vitamin E.
I LOVE almonds!! I eat them in all their forms… whole almonds that I crack open myself, almonds that are ready to eat with or without the skin (I shall write a later post about why and how to remove that skin), almond powder, almond butter…
I really LOVE the combination of almonds and something sweet like maple syrup or honey. My ideal is a vegan diet, for idealistic reasons, but I sometimes have some animal products such as honey and cheese… well, I have not tried mixing almond with cheese yet but I’m sure it wouldn’t be bad… I have added almond butter to soups and it did give them a delicious taste and a smoother texture. So why not cheese?
What about you? What’s YOUR favorite way to eat almonds? And have you ever tried mixing almonds with honey or another sweetener?
A Harvard study showed a link between high levels of carrotenoids and a better mood, although they were not sure which came first… Are people feeling happier because they have higher levels of carrotenoids or do happy people tend to be attracted to eat fruit and vegetable rich in that substance?
One thing I know is that in France, we say that carrots make you nice “Les carottes rendent aimable” (no, “aimable” does not mean “lovable”, although I guess we can be more lovable when we are nice to others. 🙂 ).
Carrots are also good for the liver. Chinese medicine links the liver with anger. So, better liver, less anger, better mood, more happiness? Why don’t you try for yourself?
Carrots are even easier to store and carry around than bananas. I have had a few accidents of crushed bananas in a bag… that never happened with carrots! 😉 You can also eat them any time and anywhere.
I personally LOVE grated carrots with a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar and good quality salt like Himalayan or Celtic salt.
I am also an adept of home-made carrots juice. Either just plain carrot juice or with a bit of ginger and/or turmeric and/or apples.
What about you? What’s YOUR favorite way to eat carrots?
Take the Challenge!
Well, that’s my selection for today.
As I said before, I invite you to join me for a 5 day challenge…
To keep it simple and safe, I challenge you to have at least one of these at least once a day for 5 days in a row. Tell me in the comments if you are willing to take up that challenge, and then come back to this page after 5 days to share your experience. Which foods did you prefer? And did you notice any difference?
Of course, like with everything else, it all depends on the quantities. Don’t start eating 30 bananas or 1kg of pumpkin seeds a day and expect your body to adapt well to this sudden change… experiment but make sure to listen to your body at the same time. 🙂
I look forward to reading your comments!!
To our joy and happiness,
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