As the old saying goes: “You are what you eat.” And realistically, most people would rather be chocolate than broccoli. A common misconception about dieting is that it takes the joy out of food and eating. Although the weight loss results we hope for when we commit to a diet feel pretty exciting, the actual work of swearing off the junky foods we love in favor of healthier ones can leave us feeling down in the dumps.
But dieters don’t have to expect that a healthy diet will be depressing. In fact, there are a number of healthy foods out there that not only taste great, but they have been scientifically shown to actually boost your mood. That’s right… eating healthy is not only good for your body; it’s also good for your state of mind.
And the clincher? Mood has a reciprocal effect on healthy eating. So the more positive your mood, chances are the likelier you will be to make healthy eating choices. Researchers found that individuals select healthy or “indulgent” foods depending on whether they’re in a good or a bad mood, respectively. They discovered that if you think about what you’re grateful for, you’ll eat up to 77 percent healthier. This is because individuals in positive moods who make healthier food choices are often thinking more about future health benefits than those in negative moods, who focus more on immediate taste and sensory experiences.
Science can have a great way of reminding us how interconnected our minds, bodies, and hearts truly are. If you want to explore how foods can have a positive impact on your mood, click through the slideshow below for five examples of foods with naturally mood-boosting properties. Next time you’re feeling low, give one of them a try. Now that’s food for thought!