Like most kids growing up in single-parent households, I had a lot of unstructured time in which to get into trouble. And my kind of trouble was junk food.
I didn't pull fire alarm bells, I pulled Taco Bells. I didn't run with the juvies, I ran with the Friendly's. Burger King was my gang leader, and Pizza Hut was my hangout. But running with this dangerous crowd not only turned me into a fat kid, it turned me into a depressed kid as well.
Turns out my fast-food diet, with all those processed chemicals and hardly any nutrients, was throwing off my body's feel-good chemistry. Drew Ramsey, M.D., co-author of The Happiness Diet, says that eating the wrong foods can add to our daily stress and make us feel anxious, lethargic, and downright grouchy.
What's worse, a diet that deprives our brains of much-needed "happy" nutrients also makes us fat. When you're stressed out, you're more likely to reach for high-calorie junk foods that pack on the pounds, fueling a never-ending unhappiness cycle that goes like this: You eat bad, then you feel bad, so you eat worse, and then you feel--you guessed it--even worse.
But, Dr. Ramsey says, there's an easy, drug-free way to boost your spirits and shrink your belly: brain food. Yep, feeding your brain with the right nutrients-found in these 11 simple foods-is all you need to do to improve your mood, boost your energy, and keep your hands out of the chip bag for good.