There are many influences on mood and emotional wellness, and food certainly is one of them. Today I wanted to share a few of my go-to “Happy Foods.” These are nutrient-dense, high quality foods that I make and eat when I’m needing a little bit of a happiness boost in my day.
When I think about making “happy foods,” I focus on these nutrients: omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables (for fiber, folate, and tons of vitamins and minerals), and vitamin C. There are a number of nutrients that are connected to brain health,
1). Tropical Green Smoothie
My go-to “Happy food’ smoothie is a tropical tasting green smoothie (usually this serves 2 small glasses or one big glass)
Tropical Green Smoothie
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 banana (frozen has best results)
1/2 cupl frozen mango (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup frozen pineapple (about 1/4 cup)
2 cups cold water, or to desired consistency
Why I love it: This smoothie tastes like a tropic escape in a glass. I love pineapple, and especially love the sweetness it adds to a green smoothie. Plus, when I take the time to make myself a smoothie loaded with greens, I start to feel good just for taking care of myself.
Note: you can also replace the banana with avocado.
2). Chocolate Chia Pudding
Chocolate Chia Pudding
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 Tablespoons cocoa
Vanilla Stevia (optional, honey, maple syrup, or raw sugar also work great)
Raspberries for garnish (optional)
I find best results when I mix all ingredients together in a food processor. Once combined, put the mixture in a container (I like glass tupperware) and cool in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer.
Why I love it: Omega-3 fatty acids are a great addition for brain health. This pudding also feels really decadent and comes out more like a mousse than a pudding. Homemade desert is a great happiness booster for me. (Though I also recommend this for breakfast!)
3). Acai Bowls
1 packet frozen Acai (Like from Sambazon)
1/2 cup milk of choice (or more for desired consistency)
1 frozen banana
frozen berries (if desired)
your favorite granola
drizzle of honey
Why I love it: Eating colorful foods helps to bring me out of a funk, and it ensures I’m getting a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. When it’s hot outside, Acai bowls are a great option for cooling breakfast, snack, or desert.