52 weeks of good health....

every week I will share with you a tip to improve your eating habits or lifestyle to help you reach maximum energy levels and increase overall physical and emotional health.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Natural mood enhancers

We’ve all been there....you wake up in the morning and just don’t feel yourself; cranky, grouchy...most people will reach for their morning caffeine fix when this happens, but that’s not always the best idea. Here are a few things that you should reach for when you're feeling like you need a little pick me up:

Apples: apples may not contain caffeine, but they contain glucose and glucose will help fuel your brain, helping you wake up.

Leafy Greens:Many depressed people are deficient in folate. This essential mineral is abundant in green leafy vegetables like kale. Other sources include orange juice, lentils, corn, asparagus, peas, nuts, and seeds.

Carbs:Eat a diet that emphasizes carbohydrates. Meals that are especially rich in carbs have been associated with a calming, relaxing effect. Carbohydrate rich foods allow the amino acid tryptophan to enter the brain where it is then used to make serotonin. Feel-good food choices include whole grain pasta, breads, grains, cereals, fruits, and juices....no refined stuff!

Fish: Aim to eat fish at least three times a week. Researchers found that people who ate fish less than once a week had a 31 per cent higher incidence of mild to moderate depression than people who ate fish more often. Albacore tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are top choices. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to normal brain function, and may influence serotonin production.

Tryptophan:Found in turkey and other animal products, this amino acid is needed to make the mood-critical neurotransmitter serotonin. Research indicates that tryptophan can help induce sleep, and may play a role in treating certain types of depression.

Supplements: B-complex and Omega 3

And a few things you should avoid:

Caffeine:If you drink coffee or pop, cut back or give it up. Research links caffeine, which suppresses serotonin production, to depression.

Sweets:When some sugar-sensitive people eat large quantities of sweets, they may experience an energetic “high” followed by a “low” with weakness and “jitters” when the sugar is metabolized. Limiting sugar consumption helps stabilize your mood.

Mind over mood; here are 4 ways to use mindfulness to change your mood:

  1. Sit alone in a quiet room and focus on your breathe for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Focus on one task at a time; avoid multi tasking when you're feeling blue.
  3. Don't get distracted during mealtime; practice mindful eating.
  4. Go for a mindful walk; let your thoughts go and focus on your breathing, smells and how the ground feels below your feet.
In good health,

No comments:

Post a Comment