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Proven Way to Joy #19: Eat a high protein diet with a lot of vegetables.

We are what we eat. Diet and nutrition play a monumental role in all aspects of our lives. The state of our physical and emotional health is greatly affected by the types of foods that we consume. Think about how you feel when you overindulge in something heavily fried or processed versus something on the lighter and cleaner side of the spectrum. Or what happens after the initial rush and high of a sugary snack.

Hana Matt points out in her outline on the proven ways to joy that, “you should eat twenty grams of protein at every meal, which is the amount that fits into the palm of your hand. Protein should take up 1/3 of your plate. Protein foods are made up of amino acids, which are what make up and produce the joy biochemicals serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins, and oxytocin. Not eating protein at each meal will cause you to lack these biochemicals. The other ¾ of your plate should be vegetables, the majority of the time. It is suggested that you limit your starches and sweet foods, as these foods cause a temporary boost in serotonin that is then followed by a greater drop in it. They also cause inflammation, which is now seen in studies to contribute to depression. “

When our serotonin levels are low, we will often experience the following symptoms: negativity, depression, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, irritability, impatience, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. Did you ever think that some of these feelings could be directly linked to your diet and protein intake? We often think of mental aliments to be separate from physical ones. However, our body is an entity that is interconnected with all of its systems and parts. No wonder when one part is not well or receiving the necessary care, another part might also suffer.

Unfortunately, there are things that are out of our control sometimes. However, diet and nutrition are in your control. It is your choice as to what you put inside of your body. Foods like fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans are all high in protein and aid in the production of happy biochemicals. Buddha once said, “to keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our minds strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.” 

Thanks for sharing a smile with us this week! 

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