Food Fight a Bad Mood: 5 Eats for a Positive Attitude Adjustment!

Posted by Abigail Schmidt on July 14, 2014 (0 Comments)

Maybe it's a long way off till your birthday, the laundry pile is never ending, or a huge vet bill arrives in your mailbox.  Maybe its all that and can sometimes be relentlessly tough on all of us.

Whether you’ve been feeling low from life’s chores and obstacles or battling a bad mood, food might not be a cure-all (it won’t pay the vet bill, after all), but many foods have been proven to elevate one’s feelings and outlook.

A little mood boost can go a long way towards helping you get through the day and restore an overall sense of well-being. This makes you more productive and also supports your general health and longevity.  After all, it’s been proven that happy people live longer lives!

1. Dark Chocolate - (1 to 1 ½ ounces only!) Ok, this sounds obvious but now you’ve been given the order that takes care of your guilt! Dark chocolate has been scientifically proven to boost the level of pleasure-inducing endorphins in the brain.  

Tip: Break out a bar of chocolate when you're around other people, like during a lunch break at work.  This way you’re not tempted to eat the whole bar and you spread the joy!

2. Fish - Try indulging in more fatty fish like wild salmon, tuna, sardines and rainbow trout (Even mussels and oysters are a beneficial indulgence).  These fresh and saltwater fish are all rich in the right fats - Omega 3s -  that have been found to induce feelings of pleasure and fight mood swings and depression.

Tip: Always buy wild fish when possible for the most nutrition per ounce. And try to incorporate fish into your meal plan at least several times a week for the best results.

3. Berries - Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries! The vibrant colors of these fruits come from anthocyanin and anthocyanidins.  These plant pigments actually combat stress and depression.

Tip: Berries are so easy to add to any hot or cold breakfast cereal, and they also make a gourmet dessert all on their own or topping frozen yogurt!

4. Guacamole and chips - Turns out avocados contain serotonin, the pleasure-inducing neurotransmitter. They also have more potassium than bananas, never mind the boat-load of other vitamins and minerals to fortify your overall health.

Tip: Avocados have more protein than any other fruit, so they’re a great thing to include in your diet if you’re trying to cut back on your meat intake.

5. Nuts - Almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, peanuts and pumpkin seeds oh my! Ok, the last one on the list is not a nut but it acts like one when it comes to the down-in-the-dumps busting powers of these crunchy snacks! They have essential fatty acids that nourish the nervous system which in turn reduce stress and boost mood.  They are also rich in protein which helps regulate blood sugar, helping to balance out emotional turbulence.

Tip: Cashews have the most stress-relieving and mood-stabilizing power of all with the added benefit of tryptophan. Tryptophan is yet another awesome naturally occurring amino acid that boosts the brain with feel-good serotonin. Keep a baggie or little tin at work as emergency back up instead of going all Don Draper on that bourbon in your file cabinet.

In addition to eating these mood-lifting foods, it’s important to keep in mind the moderation of others.  Sugar consumption, though it seems counterintuitive, can actually lead to symptoms of depression. The same goes for alcohol.  A little bit (especially red wine) is heart healthy, but more than a drink or two has the opposite effect over time.  Most importantly, however, do what you can to avoid processed food. Whole foods pack the most nutritional punch and actually make you feel happier and physically better.

Happy Eating!

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