Sometimes, it is just food that brings a smile to your face. Research has proved that some foods can make you happier in and out. Basically these foods release endorphins, the happy hormone. Eating them, even in the worst kinds of moods, can help you lift your spirits!

10 Foods That Make You Happy & Healthy

Clinically, cause of unhappiness may be low levels of endorphin, which are caused because of B vitamins deficiency, B12 in particular. Other nutrients that affect your happiness quotient are Vitamin C, iron, potassium and zinc. So if you are feeling low or depressed, these foods will make help you feel happy.

Dark Chocolate: When it comes to chocolates, everyone is a kid. Chocolates help in enhancing sensitivity and create euphoria. It has N-acyclethanoloamine that stimulates the release of endorphins. But this only applies to dark chocolate or varieties that are rich in cocoa.

Nutritional facts – Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, along with phenols. But avoid very high sugar varieties as they will give an energy burst along with useless calories. Instead opt for variations that are low on sugar.

Honey: Sweet as honey, sans useless calories! Honey is an ingredient that has been used for centuries as a mood booster. But the little secret is that along with making you happier, it also fights infection since it has antibacterial and antiviral properties too.

Nutritional facts – Kkaempferol and quercetin are compounds found in honey that prevent depression, improve brain functions and enhance metabolism too. So along with a happy mood, you get a leaner you too!

Strawberries: Luscious and versatile, strawberries are one of the best foods to make you happy. Just munch on them with whipped cream or even in a smoothie, strawberries sure spruce you up.

Nutritional facts – Rich in vitamin C and potassium, strawberries help in releasing endorphins. With their vibrant color, they are the perfect ‘love’ food for the soul. They are sweet on their own and rich in fiber, they flush out toxins too.

Milk: Warm milk has been a sleepy-time drink for centuries. Basically milk has whey protein that helps in reducing levels of anxiety and frustration. If you are depressed, feeling low and unable to sleep, just drink up some warm milk. Of course, if you want some sugary energy then milk in the form of ice cream is suggested. Add oodles of your favorite toppings.

Nutritional facts - Rich in calcium, milk also contains proteins, vitamin A, riboflavin and vitamin B12. Have yogurt based desserts instead cream ones to get the same happy benefits, sans the calories.

Pasta: A bowl of hearty carbonara or marina spaghetti in bed is all that it takes to shoot up the happiness factor. Pasta comes in different forms and shapes, but the core ingredients remain staple. It fills up the tummy and releases energy.

Nutritional facts – Sure semolina pasta is tastier, but you can try whole wheat variations to get some complex carbs. It is rich in proteins too, which again help to release endorphins.

Bread and butter: Bread and butter takes you right back to the fragrance of nana’s kitchen. Warm croissants and bread with heaps of butter satiate the mind and taste buds too. The combination works better than either item alone because it is so comforting.

Nutritional facts – Bread is a high energy source that also contains complex carbs along with vitamin B. Opt for fiber rich multigrain breads made from wheat, corn flour, barley, oats, etc. to get the maximum benefits of both health and happiness.

Brazilian Nuts: Brazil nuts are very high on selenium, which enhances moods. These nuts are high in good fats and calories too so munching on them are not going to make you worry about your waist line. Another reason to smile!

Nutritional facts – They are rich in proteins along with minerals and vitamin B. They contain unsaturated fats that don’t have cholesterol.

Avocado: This thick and creamy fruit is a great dip with nachos and is one of the yummiest foods to eat when you are feeling low. Basically the fruit has mood boosting serotonin. It can be taken in forms of salads or guacamole.

Nutritional facts - It is rich in potassium and monounsaturated fat that reduces blood pressure problems.

Wine: Old wine and good friends get better with time. And what better way to feel happy than sip some red wine with your partner or friends. Get a dose of antioxidants along with some rich flavors.

Nutritional facts - It helps you relax, unwind and also fights depression.

Potatoes: The best comfort foods that come to mind are not really complete without potatoes. Be it French fries, mashed potatoes or even a hash brown. Potatoes help in increasing levels of serotonin that keeps you happy happy!

Nutritional facts - Potato has complex carbs along with the skin being rich in potassium too. So the next time have a baked one with skin on to give yourself a energy and happiness boost!

Photo credits: Bruce Tuten