By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
Courtesy of Health.com
I’m a happiness research junkie. I love reading about simple things we can do to elevate mood and boost contentment. Mindfulness meditation, adequate sleep, laughing, volunteering, and spending time with pets (as well as with happy people) all help. And believe it or not, science shows you can also eat your way happier!
If you’re in need of a little more glee, here are six research-backed “better mood foods” to build into your eating repertoire.
In a recent Dutch study, 20 healthy volunteers received either a probiotic supplement or a placebo for four weeks. Those who received the real deal showed a significantly reduced reactivity to sad mood, which was largely due to a reduction in aggressive thoughts and rumination (you know, when you over-think or obsess on the negative). The conclusion: the type and amount of bacteria in your digestive tract impacts your mood. Scientists even have a name for it: the gut-brain axis, or the communication highway between the GI tract and the brain, and it’s fascinating.