9 Foods That Can Make You Feel Like Your Best Self
Food is more than just the fuel your body needs to thrive. It’s a major part of how you connect with others, how you comfort yourself in times of need and how you prevent all sorts of health problems (if you choose well) for years to come. There are also foods out there that, from a biological standpoint, can literally make you feel like your best self from the inside out. So if you’re looking for a little lift in life, try integrating these nine foods in your weekly meal plan.
This tropical fruit doesn’t just boost your potassium intake. It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid required by the brain to make serotonin, that feel-good hormone you definitely want coursing through your body. So keep those bananas in your daily breakfast — they’re setting you up for a great day.
You’ll want to pair these protein powerhouses with bananas because they help boost your blood plasma levels of tryptophan. Just make sure you don’t ditch the yolks. Those tasty yellow centers contain a ton of the egg’s antioxidant health benefits while egg whites mainly provide the protein.
Time to feed your microbiome! Barley is a mighty little grain that packs a major nutritional punch, especially in the prebiotic fiber category. In fact, people who ate Barley+, an Australian cereal and bar product made with a boosted version of the whole grain, for breakfast for 28 days reported feeling a greater overall sense of happiness and wellness because of the swap.
4. Black Tea
We all know caffeine can give us a jolt, but the one that comes from black tea also aids in digestive tract health, thanks to the tannins and antioxidants. And who doesn’t feel better when their gut is happy? We’re partial to Berries & Roses, Good Earth Tea Company’s black tea blended with raspberries and rose petals. Bring on that soothing yet lively flavor medley any time of day.
These guys are often considered the nutritional kings of the nut category. When raw, they provide a perfect balance of protein, fiber and fat, along with magnesium, which helps alleviate depression symptoms. Plus, they don’t spike your blood sugar levels, leading to a crash later, and they taste fantastic. Add them to oats, smoothies, salads, desserts or anything your heart desires.
So, we already know that these so-called aphrodisiacs make us feel good. But they give us a more generalized mood and nutrition boost as well. Oysters are loaded with zinc, a mineral that’s super important when it comes to reducing anxiety symptoms. So slurp up, and you’ll be feeling calmer and steadier in no time.
All those omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish can work wonders for your mood because they have potent antidepressant properties. They keep the nerves throughout your body and the neurons in your brain operating as they should. Just make sure you opt for wild-caught so you don’t end up making other nutritional sacrifices with this pretty pink fish.
8. Dark Leafy Greens
Oh, leafy greens, how we love you so. They are the best source of folate out there, which is one of the essential B vitamins your body needs to operate like a well-oiled machine. (Folate is in charge of cell growth and regeneration.) Plus, they’re incredibly versatile when it comes to food prep. Toss them in smoothies, salads, stir-frys, roasted veggie platters… the sky’s the limit.
9. Dark Chocolate
And, of course, we saved the best for last. Dark chocolate (like 70 percent cacao dark) is loaded with fountain-of-youth resveratrol, mood-balancing magnesium and more. A little bit can truly go a long way, thanks to its bold and satiating flavor. We indulge in a little dark chocolate every day — for the health of our bodies and for the sake of our souls.
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