The Happiness Diet: 11 Foods That Improve Mum and Dad's Mood

Parenting is difficult. And, especially in the beginning, it is also very tiring and stressful. The good mood, however, can be recovered, as well as looking at the smiling face of your baby, even at the table: here are the 11 foods that bring back joy and make you feel better: from classic chocolate with almonds, from pumpkin seeds to asparagus, each - according to Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of The Happiness Diet - contains particular substances that aid mood.

1. Beets

Like other green leafy vegetables that are high in folic acid, they are a panacea for mood. A study by the University of York and Hull York Medical School has indeed found a correlation between low folate levels and depression. (Read also Healthy and balanced recipes for pregnancy)

2. Dark chocolate

There are already enough reasons to pamper yourself with a bar of chocolate, but there is also another reason: it makes you happy. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, eating chocolate with a high content of flavonoids (natural antioxidants contained in cocoa and, therefore, also in chocolate, especially dark chocolate) makes you calmer and happier. (You may be interested in 10 Chocolate Birthday Cakes)

3. eggs

Rich in essential fatty acids, eggs help the body produce serotonin, the deficiency of which is linked to chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

4. Almonds

They are a concentrate of nutrients, including magnesium and folate. Magnesium, above all, is essential for brain health, and although studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing symptoms of depression, it is often lacking in modern diets. (Read also Balanced diet for children - Tips from the nanny)

5. Lentils

Not only do they represent money (which is why they eat plenty of it on New Year's Eve), but they also contain folate: a cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the RDI (the recommended daily allowance) of folic acid. Lentils are also rich in the amino acid L-tyrosine that the brain uses to produce the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, useful for increasing reactivity by decreasing the risk of depression. (See also Recipes for children and family)

6. Pumpkin seeds

They are very rich in zinc, the deficiency of which is linked to the onset of depressive states. Pumpkin seeds also contain L-tryptophan, which is important for the synthesis of the hormone of happiness (serotonin) and proteins.

7. Porridge (oatmeal)

Although some have even described it as "the most boring food on the planet," porridge, a traditional British dish, is a cure-all for mental health. This is because oats contain high levels of magnesium, which helps fight anxiety and depressive states. Furthermore, thanks to its high fiber content, it helps stabilize the blood sugar level by preventing "mood swings". (10 Tips to Prevent Depression)

8. Honey

The nutrients it contains produce a calming effect, useful when you feel anxious or tense: not for nothing many use to sweeten afternoon or evening tea just like honey. And being a natural sweetener it is able to give the charge of energy when needed: just eat a teaspoon to immediately feel more cheerful and in better shape. (Milk and honey braid recipe: watch the video)

9. Flaxseed oil

The diet of modern men is definitely lacking in omega-3s, which are instead very effective food supplements in fighting depression. Flaxseed oil is a food capable of providing the necessary omega-3s quickly and easily. (See also 6 rules for feeding your baby)

10. Acqua

It may seem strange, but water is very important for the mood. According to several studies, dehydration is directly related to worsening mood. To stay fit mentally, therefore, it is important to drink enough water.

11. Asparagus

This food is also very rich in folic acid, and is therefore capable of improving mood. But that's not all, because asparagus also contains vitamins (A, C and E) and mineral salts; according to recent studies, moreover, they are useful for preventing type 2 diabetes, purify the body thanks to the presence of glutathione (also contained in avocado, cabbage and Brussels sprouts), help to counteract the cognitive decline of our brain thanks to folic acid, and are a natural diuretic thanks to the presence of asparagine. Finally, they have a high content of potassium, a mineral salt useful for regulating blood pressure and for the functioning of muscles. In short, just eat them to feel better.

Updated on 04.05.2022

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  • good mood
  • mum
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