And, no, I’m not talking about Arby’s!
Certain types of food (that are healthy, of course) can actually improve your mood and state of mind. Care to hear more?
Nutrition experts say that the foods you eat can help you feel better in the short-term and the long-term.
Good mood fruits
This healthy fruit contains a combination of nutrients, healthy carbs and the essential amino acid tryptophan that will elevate your mood.
Bananas are loaded with potassium, phosphorous, iron, protein, as well as vitamins B6, A and C. The natural sugars in the banana will give you a fast energy boost, and the fiber will provide more sustaining energy to keep you feeling lively.
Apples (plus some peanut butter) – Helps cure crankiness
Are you feeling short-tempered? It might be because you are low on food or are crashing from eating foods high in sugars or simple carbs. Apples have natural sugar, a complex carb that is great for energy. With the addition of peanut butter, it will fuel your body with protein and healthy fats. The fat in peanut butter will slow down your digestion of the natural sugar from an apple, giving you hours of lasting energy.
Snacks to keep you happy
Dark chocolate – Eat if you’re stressed
Not only is dark chocolate delicious and healthy, it has been shown to decrease levels of the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamine, too! Be careful though, dark chocolate is high in calories. Next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try having a small bit (about 1.4 oz) of dark chocolate.
These miracle nuts contain high amounts of healthy fat, which your body can use for energy longer than calories from carbohydrates. They are also a great source of iron and potassium, nutrients used for maintaining energy levels. Aside from the energy benefits of almonds, the fat in almonds has been shown to lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise your HDL (good cholesterol), leading to a healthier and longer life.
Try spinach, asparagus, broccoli or peas ( and the list goes on and on!)
Stay focused and alert. Green veggies contain folate, a nutrient that helps maintain normal levels of serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone. A study from the Journal of Nutrition showed that individuals consuming low amounts of folate were 67% more likely to suffer from depression. Folate has also been shown to decrease homocysteine, an amino-acid that does damage to blood vessels and interferes with the flow of blood and nutrients to the brain. High levels of homocysteine can make you feel sluggish and forgetful. To help elevate your mood and keep your brain awake, try eating leafy green vegetables with two meals each day.
Create some healthy, ‘Happy Meals’
Spinach with chicken
Eating spinach and chicken together combine nutrients (folate, b vitamins and amino-acids) that work together to prevent central nervous system disorders. These vitamins have been shown in studies to raise moods and prevent dementia.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that can reduce anger, irritability and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. But, make sure your salmon burger is on whole-wheat bread, which is high in the complex carbohydrates that will keep you going all day long!
Be healthy to be happy
Next time you’re in a bad mood, do not go to the freezer for ice cream or raid the cupboards for cookies. Eat healthy! I promise you’ll feel better in the long-run.
Have any suggestions on healthy foods that make you feel better? Or, how about foods you think will make you feel better but actually make you feel worse? (That post is next! Stay tuned.)