Have you ever noticed how quickly you can get angry when you are hungry? What about how almost euphoric you feel when you finally do eat? While we all have different relationships with food, we all NEED to eat! When it comes to eating, more often than not, we find ourselves standing at a crossroads. We often feel like we have to choose between the foods that nourish our bodies and the ones that feed our souls. What if I told you there was a way to have your cake and eat it too guilt-free?
Food with Purpose
Turns out, most of us already associate foods with happiness. Whether that be grandma’s secret recipes or even a bar of chocolate, certain foods, whether we like them or not, tend to become attached to feelings. More often than not, it is the memories we associate with these foods. But some of these foods can actually produce a chemical response within our bodies. As such, we can see an increase in hormones like Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin. These three hormones are more commonly correlated with happiness.
How to Feed The Beast
When it comes to boosting your happiness levels with the food, you want to make sure you choose foods that will help more than hurt. So, while dark chocolate can quickly boost your Dopamine levels, the high sugar content can also create blood sugar spikes. That is why it is so critical to ensure that the foods we are choosing have multiple benefits. The best food options to naturally increase Dopamine are apples, beets, avocado, walnuts, oatmeal, and green tea. Some of the best foods for Oxytocin are spinach, avocado, watermelon, figs, and green tea. Lastly, the best options for Serotonin are walnuts, salmon, oatmeal, sweet potato, and leafy greens.
The Happiness in Your Food
Happiness is an emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happy mental states also reflect a person’s thoughts about their overall well-being.
“Happiness comes from within.”
We have talked about finding more happiness from our surroundings by changing our mentality. Today we will talk about the “happiness ingredients” in your food that can influence your hormones and state of mind.
Nature gave us “happiness hormones”: serotonin, dopamine, phenylethylamine, ghrelin, and endorphins. When we feel happy or euphoric, we experience a combination of a positive mindset and chemical reactions from our happiness hormones. These hormones can be released by exercise or even by eating certain foods.Dr. Dee
It’s All Coming Together Now
Have you ever wondered why doctors put such importance on nutrition? Now, you know that I am a firm believer in what you put into your body for those of you who know me, directly determining what you can get out of it. There is a reason for the madness, I swear. When it comes to your health, your digestive system is right at the root of everything, from your mood level, immunity, ability to process stress and even slowing the aging process. Your digestive system helps regulate all of it. At the end of the day, your digestive system can make or break your health goals. That’s why we all must do everything within our ability to ensure our digestive system works to the best of its ability.
How to Boost Your Serotonin With Ease
Foods that activate the release of serotonin contain an amino acid called tryptophan, which is a precursor of serotonin. Examples of foods with tryptophan include bananas, chickpeas, oats, seafood, meat, nuts, and seeds. Foods that further boost serotonin release are turmeric, green tea, and dark chocolate. (Yes, you read that right! Dark chocolate stimulates the production of serotonin, making you feel happy after you eat it.)
Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, beef, chicken, eggs, green tea, watermelon, and chocolate.
(You are probably craving some right now. Go ahead; have a little piece and be happy!)
Find Out Which Foods Bring You, Joy
Food doesn’t have to be unhealthy or consumed in large quantities to make you happy. The key is mindful eating of the right kinds of food. Treating your body with “happy foods”, and including exercise, vitamins, sunlight, and minerals in your diet, makes for a healthy, happy body. Sunlight activates serotonin, and even light exercise increases both serotonin and endorphins.
Last but not the least, happiness requires that you detoxify your mind and body. Cleanse your mind with meditation and positive thinking, and cleanse your body with clean, healthy eating. Love yourself, accept yourself as you are, and be kind to yourself.
Life will be much brighter when you are in a happy place. Eat yourself happy.
Peaches & Cream Pie
Gluten free vegan Serves 8
- 1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Pretzel crumbs
- 8 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Cups Coconut milk Full Fat
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla
- 8 Ounces Vegan Cream Cheese
- 3-4 Tbsp Powdered Coconut sugar
- 2 Tbsp Raspberry Chia Jam
- 1/3 Cup Agave Syrup
- 3 Ripe Peaches Halved
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine pretzel, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Remove 2 Tbsp of dough and spread on a baking sheet. Take remaining dough and press into an 8-9 inch pie plate—Bake for about 8 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.
In a large bowl, beat milk and vanilla until peaks form. Gently fold in soft cream cheese and powdered sugar. Let chill for 1-2 minutes.
Assemble by adding a layer of jam over the crust, cream, fruit (I boil my peaches first to soften them), and crumbs on top. Let it sit in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight. Enjoy!
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help, I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected], or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!