Top 10 foods that make you happy!
According to a recent Gallup survey, Singaporeans are the least happy people in the world, despite ranking 3rd on per capita GDP.
Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner, says, "If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world… But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well."
It would not be far-fetched to say then that most Singaporeans do not know how to effectively deal with stress and anxiety.
Fear not though, because help is on the way. Studies have shown that certain foods can help us to keep the worries of life at bay.
Of course, we all know that many Singaporean mothers have to juggle both work and family. Most don’t even have enough time to cook.
That's why we've come up with this list of the top 10 foods that make you happy.
Mummies, you don’t need to cook most of these food items, you just need to put them in your mouth and enjoy!
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is commonly known to bring about feelings of euphoria.
It has been found to increase levels of neurotransmitters such as endorphins, which contributes to an overall sense of well-being.
It also has phenylethylamine, nicknamed as the "love drug", because it makes one feel like he/she is in love.
It comes at no surprise then that chocolates are commonly given on Valentine’s Day, mainly because of its well-known aphrodisiac effects.
Another chemical found in chocolates is theobromine, which has a relaxing effect that can be good for sexual intimacy.
2. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids
Fish and seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids would be salmon, cod, tuna, halibut and shrimp.
Vegetables such as collard greens, winter squash and kale also contain a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Other sources are walnuts, flax seeds, soybeans and tofu.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for preventing heart diseases, cancers, depression, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
With such benefits, consumers of omega-3 fatty acids are bound to be jolly for a long time to come.
A good source of potassium, bananas are helpful in fending off cardiovascular diseases, and we all know that being healthy is definitely something to be happy about.
Bananas are also full of fibre and promote digestion. They are also low in fat but are wonderful for boosting our energy.
Bananas are convenient snacks to bring along with you, and are often used in baked goods, desserts, and healthy smoothies.
You'd also be glad to know that this yellow fruit is not only good for your stomach but for your emotional health too!
Tryptophan, which is found in dark chocolate, is also found in bananas. This amino acid is converted in the body to serotonin, which can 'lighten' your mood.
Everyone knows that oranges are high in vitamin C, which not only boosts energy levels and immunity, but also promotes endorphin production in the body.
That's probably why you can find pharmacies stocked with various types of vitamin C health products, ranging from pills to effervescent tablets to chewable tablets.
So, if you can’t find time in your busy lifestyle to peel an orange, you can still gain the benefits of the fruit while chewing on an orange-flavored vitamin C tablet.
Of course, going 'natural' is still best, so go and suck on those yummy oranges as often as you can!
Grapes, blackcurrants, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries... the list goes on and on. Berries are oh-so-berry good for you!
Berries are not only a colourful delight to look at, they are also loaded with antioxidants, fibre and vitamins.
Get the most out of them by mixing them up with nuts for a healthy and delicious snack.
If you are not nuts about berries, maybe you are nuts about nuts!
As mentioned earlier, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and are actually known for their resemblance to the human brain.
Other good nuts are almonds, cashews, Macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and hazelnuts.
Almonds are rich in fibre and are an excellent source of energy.
Meanwhile, Brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium, which can help prevent coronary artery disease and liver cirrhosis.
In general, nuts can be eaten alone or be used in salads.
Most mothers would already be familiar with the benefits of milk — which contains important elements like calcium, vitamin D, protein and phosphorous.
Calcium is important in building strong bones and teeth, which is important for growing children.
Phosphorous is essential in strengthening bones and — similar to protein — it generates energy, which in turn contributes to the overall wellbeing your child.
Nowadays, one can readily find milk in supermarkets and grocery stores.
You can even enjoy it in different flavours such as chocolate, banana, strawberry, and papaya.
Your children may find these flavours more appealing than plain milk.
8. Green tea
Green tea has infiltrated the Singaporean culture in the past decade. You can find it brewed the traditional way, as well as in cans and bottles.
L-theanine, found in green tea, is an amino acid that promotes a calming effect on one’s mood.
It is no wonder then that the Japanese seem to always be so mild-mannered!
The Health Promotion Board’s campaign to encourage Singaporeans to consume 2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables each day is not just a mere suggestion.
Take it seriously... and consider spinach as one of your daily vegetables to consume. It is good especially for mothers-to-be.
Packed with folic acid, vitamins A and C, and magnesium, Popeye’s favorite vegetable helps to improve one’s mood.
To add to its benefits, consuming spinach can also curb stress and help one sleep better.
It’s no surprise then that Popeye can fight off his 'enemies' right after he finishes a can of spinach!
Those who have a sweet tooth always love a good dessert because it seems to make them happy.
There are many types of desserts, such as ice cream, cakes, and pastries.
Though it's a fact that desserts are not always healthy, most of them also contain ingredients such as fruits, milk, and chocolate — which contain vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, and protein.
We mums (and our kids!) can also go for healthier alternatives such as frozen yoghurt and fruit smoothies, which contain more fresh fruit and less fat.