Sometimes when we are feeling blue, some of us tend to soothe ourselves with comfort foods. We all know that emotional eating is not the way to feel better in the long term and yet we do it anyway. Why do we do it? Because we want to feel good— and, there’s not much more depressing than the guilt we feel right after a big bowl of ice cream.So, we did our research and found some foods that can boost your mood. Eaten in moderation you might even notice yourself perking up.
Scientists are sharing their knowledge about foods ability to alter the production and release of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that carry information from one nerve cell to another. The foods you eat can affect your mood, including your level of alertness and your perception of pain.
Next time you’re feeling a little blue try these different kind of comfort foods.
- Oatmeal: A warm bowl of oatmeal can help elevate your mood because it’s rich in soluble fiber, which helps to smooth out blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood. Try sprinkling on a dash of cinnamon to add to the aroma.
- Walnuts: These are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a type of fat that’s needed for brain cells and mood-lifting neurotransmitters to function properly. Toast your walnuts and sprinkle them over your salads. Try another one of my favorites by mixing some in your yogurt or cottage cheese.
- Chai Tea: This is one of my favorite mood lifters. It’s an Indian tea made with regular black tea plus spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. The spices also add a natural sweetness, which helps curb that sweet tooth. Also try any aromatic herbal tea for a chance to breathe in the relaxing fragrance.
- Salmon: In the past few years, research has suggested that vitamin D may increase the levels of serotonin, one of the key neurotransmitters influencing our mood. Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Added bonus: it tastes delicious!
- Steamed Spinach: Warm and tasty, steamed spinach has enough folic acid to be an important counter to depression. As little as 200 micrograms of folic acid was enough to relieve the depression in clinical studies– that amount is easily obtained in a cup of cooked spinach or a glass of orange juice.
So if it is true that you are what you eat, then why not be happy, healthy and energized by making choices that feel good in you and for you. Also, always try to go organic when possible!
” The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.” Jean Anthelme Brillate Savarin
Savor these affirmations— comfort food for the mind,
- I listen with love to my bodies messages.
- My body is always working toward optimum health.
- My body wants to be whole and healthy.
- I cooperate and become healthy, whole and complete.
© Marian LaSalle and Joan Maresh Hansen, Swirl Girls, 2009
- 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil, M.D. This book will help you understand foods and nutrition and what’s good for you and why.
- It’s Not What You Eat It’s What’s Eating You, This book provides information on why we overeat.
- Flat Belly Diet by Liz Vaccariello, Prevention Magazine, this breakthrough book makes a meal plan both economical and easy to follow. I feel better while the weight is dropping off. Also available are the Flat Belly Pocket Guide which provides shopping lists, and the new Flat Belly Cookbook. You won’t believe that you are dieting.