It turns out that some foods don’t only taste delicious—they actually can make us feel happy too.

They do this by causing the release of our happy hormones (endorphins) as well as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine makes us feel energetic, motivated and happy. Serotonin brings on those feelings of being calm, peaceful, and satisfied with life.

Given that we all want to be happy, have energy, feel at peace with the world AND calmly handle stresses like VCE, it makes perfect sense to eat lots of these foods each day and much less of the foods that will bring us down—and slow down our brains.

Here is a list of 10 meals that will supersize your bliss:

  1. The happy banana sandwich on wholemeal bread. You can add some honey and cinnamon to make it extra delish.
  2. A happy handful of nuts. Walnuts and brazil nuts have the highest happy impact. And you only need a few to reap the rewards. Add 70% dark chocolate, add joy!
  3. The roll of happiness: Tuna and salad—especially if it has tomato and mushrooms in it—on a wholemeal roll or wrap.
  4. The smile-bringer: a strawberry smoothie. Strawberries, Greek yogurt, coconut milk and anything else that rocks your boat—add ice, banana, avocado, nuts, 70% dark chocolate—and blitz!
  5. A hot cup of green tea will bring a smile to your dial.
  6. Eggs. For a sunny start to your day have eggs any way you want—poached, scrambled, French—on wholemeal toast. Even boiled they are little packages of happiness.
  7. Coffee (yes! Coffee).
  8. Cheerful chicken or turkey salad with loads of contentment-bringing green leaves.
  9. Blissful berries. A basket of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries will be packed with peace of mind.
  10. And then there are the ‘fast foods’ that are also good food and happy food. For example: the daily veg and roast—or fillet of salmon or even oysters if you’re up for them—at your local bistro. Or what about a turmeric-rich Thai dish?

Next time you are feeling tired and a bit meh, and you go in search for a packet of ‘pick me up’ jelly babies or drive-through alternatives to real food, stop. Remind yourself that yes, the jelly babies will taste nice, but they will also set you up for the next craving (in about 2 hours). Junk food cannot give you the energising boost of fabulousness that happy foods will bring to your day!

Check out these clips for some more happy food info:

Foods Proven to Make You Happy

Mood Boosting Foods: 6 Foods That Make You Feel Happier

How the food you eat effects your brain