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9 Healthy Foods to Improve Your Mood
 
 
By : Erica Goodstone, Ph.D.
 
 
 

What food should we be eating? Which foods should we avoid? What will happen to us if we indulge in our favorite foods?

Eat this healthy food. Avoid eating this food. You will gain weight if you eat this. There is too much fat, sugar, salt, or empty calories in this food. We have all heard so many warnings against eating so many foods that many of us have lost the pure joy of eating food that makes us feel good. We feel guilty and even ashamed when we indulge our dietary preferences - which are often not the foods we are being told to eat.

An article by Jessica Hulett at aol.com provides us with some valuable and comforting information about some of the foods we may have been feeling guilty about eating.

* Eggs - High in fat and cholesterol, perhaps. But eggs are also chock full of high quality protein that will boost your energy and Vitamin D that increases serotonin and naturally improves your state of mind.

* Whole Grains - Avoid carbohydrates to lose weight, perhaps. But a moderate portion of complex carbhohydrates (e.g., rice or oatmeal) will help release insulin into your bloodstream and alleviate your stress. Even simple carbohydrates can elevate your mood temporarily but will lead to a much quicker drop in insulin and a subsequent emotional crash.

* Spinach - Popeye had the right idea, eating spinach to make him strong (This not is for those of us who remember watching Popeye cartoons when we were kids). One portion of spinach will provide more than half of the daily allowance of folic acid, which increases your brain serotonin levels (for uplifted moods) and magnesium (for calm and relaxation of muscles).

* Salmon - Although farm raised salmon may have some increased mercury and other chemicals, a piece of salmon provides 3/4 of the daily allowance for selenium (to keep you calm and allevaite irritability and anxiety). And as most of us already know, salmon contains omega 3 fatty acids that help to keep our moods stable.

* Chocolate - In an old Woody Allen movie, he once said "One day they will tell us that chocoate is good for us." Well that day has come. That delicious, soothing, melt in your mouth chocolate bar can provide your body with "phenylethylamines, a neurotransmitter that releases endorphins in the brain and makes you feel giddy." And that sweetness affects the brain's pleasure center. Even milk chocolate has its benefits but, of course, the more bitter dark chocoate is even more beneficial.

* Turkey, Chicken, Tuna and Soybeans - These foods contain tryptophan, a nutrient that helps you feel calm and relaxed.

* Lentils - This food is a complex carbohydrate that contains lots of folate that may keep moods balanced and prevent the mood swings of depression and mania.

* Berries - Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries - and some we are not as familiar with such as gogi berries - are high in fiber and also provide the natural sugar high that makes us feel good.

* Your Favorite, High Calorie, Non-Fiber, Sugar, Salt and Fat Filled Foods - The Rosicrucians taught many wise things about life, healing, magnetism, and even nutrition. One statement that always stayed with me is that if you eat something you truly dislike or if you are in a stressed out mood while you eat, you will not get the full nutritional benefit, no matter how much nutrition is packed into that food. And, if you eat even the most non-nutritous food that you absolutely love eating, your body will absorb more of whatever nutritional value does exist in that food.

Dietary choices are based upon bodily signals about chemical needs, emotional signals about chemical needs and the sensual pleasure derived from different aromas, flavors, textures, colors, temperatures and memories associated with different foods. Next time your body seems to crave a particular food, notice what is going on in your body, your life, your moods and all of your senses