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Eating a well-balanced diet isn’t just good for your abs, it also changes your swag.

It goes beyond the cliche of “you are what you eat.” New research confirms that food can literally impact the way you feel, which makes it even more important for people who grew up or live in food deserts to revamp their diets. Most ungentrified hoods are food deserts. If you have bad eating habits, revamping your diet will take a concerted effort and is a definitive part of adulting.

To get to your happy place, researchers suggest targeting foods that are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is key to the production of serotonin, a chemical in the body that transmits info throughout the nervous system. The reason is simple: high levels of serotonin have been consistently connected with good moods. Here are some foods experts suggest integrating into your diet to help serotonin production.


The fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Experts suggest eating the fish twice a week.


The way you prepare them is key, with boiling or poaching being ideal. The goal is to avoid adding unhealthy fats by frying in loads of butter…or adding cheese.


Popeye was on to something, but canned spinach isn’t as healthy as eating it fresh (think in a salad) or lightly sautéed.

Seeds & Nuts

Seeds and nuts are recommended as snacks for those who eat meat and fish, and dietary supplements for vegans/vegetarians. You can sprinkle them on salads, add them as sides to complement a meal or mix them into yogurt or cereal.


Lean cuts of chicken, turkey, and goose are low in fat and great sources of protein.