It’s not uncommon to turn to food when you need a pick me up. But too often, food choices derail our plans to eat healthy
Foods can have a noticeable effect on our moods. We know that eating healthy will help us lose weight, but there are so many other benefits. For one, you’ll feel more upbeat and energized.
Now munching on blueberries isn’t going to do much for you if you’ve just devoured a double cheeseburger, but eating healthy foods, at least 80% of the time, will help you find more energy, think more clearly and lose weight.
Try colorful fruits like cranberries, plums or pineapple. These fruits contain antioxidants that fight off free radicals known to drain energy and damage neurons in the brain. Leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard are also packed with antioxidants. Aim for several servings of colorful fruits and leafy greens per day.
For sharper focus, reach for foods rich in omega-3 fats, such as salmon, mackerel, herring or sardines. Fatty-acid-rich foods help cushion your brain cells, improving mood and memory. These foods will help you feel better, and can reduce your risk for dementia down the road. Aim for 3 servings a week.
You may be temped to grab a bag of chips. Instead, peel an orange. Oranges can give you an instant energy and mood boost. This super-nutritious citrus fruit is full of vitamin C, which helps pump oxygen through your body and brain to recharge your system.
Snacking on vitamin-C rich bell peppers and citrus fruits may contribute to lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released when your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Research suggests large doses of vitamin C may actually stop stress before it starts by reducing the amount of cortisol released.
Enjoy a handful of dried, tart cherries before you call it a night. Besides their rich supply of antioxidants, cherries are high in melatonin, the hormone that improves quality of sleep. An increase in the hormone may tell your brain it’s time to wind down for the night.
Reach for a handful of nuts like almonds and pecans. Why? They are high in B vitamins, such as thiamine, which may improve the body’s ability to withstand stress.
So the next time your feeling one of the above emotions, reach for these foods to boost your mood! Do you have a favorite mood boost food you go to? Let us know in the comments below.