While there’s been a long edible love affair of reaching for the joys of junk food to make you happy, we all know that the pleasure is often short-lived. Snacking can be a minefield as we try to navigate our health and happiness, while satiating our cravings. Fortunately, there are foods out there that bring a big whoosh of serotonin straight to the brain. Here are our favorite snacks for boosting your serotonin levels…
They say six almonds a day is the magic number you need for giving your body that beautiful boost of serotonin. Rich in antioxidants and super high in magnesium, almonds are also rich in fats and fiber which makes them a healthy harmonious snack that will keep you floating on a natural high.
Salmon is renowned for being a mood-boosting fish. While sitting down to a whole roast salmon isn’t exactly a snack, you can still get your nibble on by indulging in some high-quality smoked salmon. Top your crackers or bagel with this oily omega-3 sweet fish and amp up your vitamin D intake too. Salmon is also full of tryptophan which is essential for even more serotonin and cannot be produced in house in the body.
Everyone’s favorite comfort fruit. The humble banana with its sunny coloring gives us a hint that an easy-peel and bite will boost happiness. Bananas weave together an amazing array of vitamins – think vitamin B6, vitamin A and vitamin C to keep your immune system flying high. There’s also a bunch of potassium, phosphorous and protein involved, not to mention that all-important tryptophan which will convert to those happy hormones we need.
Full of healthy fats, the amazing avocado offers an endless choice when it comes to snacking. Whip up into a fresh guac for dipping vegetable sticks and chips, smash onto rice crackers, or sprinkle with a pinch of chilli salt and use a spoon. The healthy fat that makes this green gem so glorious is known for sending dopamine levels soaring and helping your brain release those much-desired endorphins.
Bursting with antioxidants, dark chocolate is the anti-anxiety block of happiness you need in your life. While it shouldn’t be gulped down in glorious quantities, a square or two of dark chocolate will bring out a neurotransmitter in the brain that temporarily halts feelings of pain and low thoughts, effectively lifting your mood. The magnesium also helps your endorphins and serotonin levels and the smidge of caffeine is enough to get your mind ticking and your focus honed and sharpened.
All your B vitamins can be found stashed within the delicate shell of an egg. Poached, fried or boiled – however you like your eggs in the morning, you can be sure that snacking on these will get your brain functioning and your body riding the wave of serotonin. If you have a B deficiency you may get tired easier or struggle with sleep and concentration, and this deficiency also leads to lower levels of serotonin production in the body.
Chickpeas are another glorious snack loaded with goodness and well adept at helping to boost your mood. Blend them up with tahini, garlic and a generous squeeze and lemon and for added serotonin points sprinkle on some chia seeds. Chia also helps to regulate your hormone levels which keeps you feeling beautifully balanced.
Which food boosting foods do you tend to turn to when feeling low? Share your favorite snacks in the comments.