You’re having a bad day. You get home and instead of exercising, you just want to plonk down in front of the television and eat your way through the Ben n Jerry’s ice-cream tub in the fridge.
Stop for a second.. Here are some tips on what to eat, to suit your mood.. without necessarily making you end up fat and even unhappier. Certain foods can lift your mood and be good for you.
salmon sandwich for the anxious.. photo credit – Mourner
Here are 5 Foods that can lift your Mood, and make you feel better, if you are having a bad day..
1. Spinach Salad for the Sluggish
Feeling sleepy all the time and unable to concentrate? Well, Folic acid, or folate, helps your body to process and lower homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine are associated with damage to blood vessels, in addition to interfering with the flow of blood and nutrients to the brain, and this could be responsible for what makes you feel sleepy, slow or unable to recall information. The best way to get a boost is to eat folate-rich foods like spinach and other leafy green vegetables as well as potatoes, fortified breads and cereals, beans, peas and mushrooms.
2. Chocolate for the Stressed
Your deadlines are getting closer and you have made no progress since last week. Your boss keeps yelling at you for no good reason. You are a nervous wreck. Experts say that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may help reduce the stress hormones that are swarming in your body. In fact, a recent study by researchers in Switzerland, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, found that eating just a smidgen of dark chocolate (about 1.4 ounces) has the power to lower the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines in the body, reducing your anxiety and giving you a better chance to get the job done.
2. Whole-Grain Cereal for the Sad
If every slightest thing sets you off and you easily burst into tears, this could be due to a deficiency of vitamin D in your diet. Vitamin D has many different roles in the body, one of which is to help in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that makes you feel happy and positive. To boost your intake of vitamin D, turn to low-fat fortified milk, fortified cereals or mushrooms. If you cannot do this easily enough, then try adding Vitamin D supplements to your diet.
4. Salmon Sandwich for the Anxious
Lack of sleep is giving you eye-bags. You’re constantly plagued by worries on your children, how they are getting on, and your financial situation. If this is you, order a salmon sandwich, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids – a nutrient that may help tame your anxiety. Omega3 rich foods have been shown to help in the prevention and treatment of clinical depression. And there’s growing evidence that omega-3 also help reduce anger and irritability. Omega3 is found most abundantly in cold water fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel.
5. Peanut Butter, Banana Sandwich for the Irritable
Are you short-fused and biting the head off all your colleagues around you? Crankiness can be a sign that your body needs fuel. However, make you you stay way for sugary sweet snacks, as this will cause a blood sugar peak and trough, setting off a vicious cycle. To kick irritability in the butt, eat combination foods such as a carbohydrate in combination with either some protein or some fat. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy that quickly burns out. Adding some fat or protein will slow the digestion process, causing your sugar and energy levels to remain stable for a longer amount of time. A great example of a combination snack is a banana sandwich with peanut butter. Mash up the banana and slather on peanut butter onto a slice of wholemeal bread. The banana is your healthy carbohydrate, not to mention a great source of potassium and the peanut butter is a healthy fat.
6. Green Tea for the Angry
You are pissed off as you’ve been stuck in peak traffic hour for 2 hours. Your car overheats and so does your brain. Calm down by brewing yourself a cup of green tea and sipping it slowly. Green tea contains theanine, which calms you and helps you maintain clear concentration and focus. Green tea is also lower in caffeine than coffee, and won’t exacerbate the annoyance you feel. The act of sipping also helps to ease the nerves and find that Zen that was missing;)
7. Egg-Salad Sandwich for the PMS!
If you suffer from ‘that time of the month” with terrible PMS symptoms, then try to stay away from sugary doughnuts and sweet cravings, and consider making an egg-salad sandwich instead. In the days before your period, it’s normal for women to begin craving carbohydrates as carbs help your body boost its serotonin levels, in turn helping you improve your mood. But avoid sugary snacks that will make you blood glucose peak and trough and cause mood swings. Opt for whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, and pair them with tryptophan-rich protein such as eggs, sunflower seeds or turkey, which may enhance the release of serotonin. An egg-salad sandwich on whole-grain bread offers the perfect carbohydrate-tryptophan combination!