Thursday, June 3, 2010

Eat healthy, be happy!

Sometimes we eat because we are in a certain mood (think chips and ice cream when you’re feeling down), but did you know that what you put in your mouth can cause good and bad moods too?

Choose the following foods for a mood boost.

Salmon and Walnuts. These super mood boosting foods are loaded with Omega-3 Fatty Acids which have been all over the news as great for the heart. Not only are they great for your cardiovascular system, they are used to build neurotransmitters like serotonin which can prevent depression.

Milk and Poultry. Besides being delicious, milk contains tryptophan which relaxes the body and releases the feel good chemical serotonin. Milk does a mood good!

Dark Chocolate. Hurray! It’s true, dark chocolate IS good for you…in small amounts. Nibble on a small square of dark chocolate (no more than 1 oz) for a mood lifting dose of endorphins released by the phenylethylamines in the tasty stuff. Remember, it’s only good in moderation.

Foods to avoid if you want to be happy.

Sugar and white flour. Although some of us swear by the sugar high we get after a piece of cake or handful of candy coated chocolates, we may often forget about the crash a hour or so afterwards. And comfort food like mac and cheese and pizza always sounds like a great idea when we’re down, but did you know that it can take you even lower? That’s right, refined carbohydrates like sugar and white flour (white bread, pasta, etc) gives us a little energy compared to the crash (sugar low) that will come afterwards. If you’re craving carbs, go for fruit if you’re tasting sweet (or a square of dark chocolate) or a whole wheat pasta dish which will stay with you longer and control your blood sugar instead of spike it.

Alcohol: You might get a nice, happy, relaxing buzz upon a drink or two, but alcohol is a depressant and it can impact the quality of your sleep so it’s a double negative whammy on mood.

Fast Food: Yes, it’s convenient and it might even be tasty, but it is not good for you or your mood. The ingredients in fast food are very, very refined which means that they are quickly absorbed by the body without any long-term sustenance for the body to use later. The fat content in fast food can also leave you feeling sluggish and can cause a depressed mood…so stay away!

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