When you’re feeling low, the one thing on your mind may be that jar of Nutella that you’re craving for. Fortunately there are other alternative foods which can cure a moody morning or a stressed-out afternoon. Here’s what the research says:
Stressed: Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has been shown to help reduce stress hormones which circulate in your body during trying moments. A recent study by researchers in Switzerland, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, found that eating just 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate has the power reduce anxiety by lowering the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines in the body.
Sluggish: Eat a Green Salad
Having trouble concentrating or feeling sleepy ? According to Joanna Dolgoff, MD, author of “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right” have a dark green, leafy salad instead of a coffee. Folic acid or folate found in high amounts in dark, green leafy vegetables 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. Inefficient blood flow may leave you feeling sluggish or slow to process or recall information. Other folate -rich foods other than leafy green vegetables such as spinach and parsley are potatoes, fortified breads and cereals, beans, peas and mushrooms.
Irritable: Eat an Apple with Peanut Butter
Irritability can be a sign that your body needs fuel. It’s important to nourish yourself the right way with foods that don’t leave you with a blood sugar crash an hour later leaving you feeling agitated all over again. To blast irritability, “eat combination foods at each meal and snack,” says Dr. Dolgoff. Combination foods contain 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 good example of a combination snack is an apple with almond butter. The apple is your healthy complex carbohydrate and the almond butter is a healthy fat. These types of healthy snacks gives you energy that lasts for hours.
Depressed, Anxious or Worried: Eat Sardines.
If anxiety and worries are consuming your day, consider eating omega-3 rich foods such as sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids may help to calm you down. Extensive research shows that the regular consumption of omega-3s support both the prevention and treatment of clinical depression and that it may also help to reduce anger and irritability. Stephen Ilardi, PhD, author of The Depression Cure, mentions that while there are plant-based sources of omega-3s, it’s best to stick with fish. Coldwater fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel has plentiful amounts of the specific form of omega-3 which strongly boosts mood.
Angry: Sip Chamomile Tea
Whatever the reasons for feeling angry, sipping a cup of chamomile tea may help calm you down. The most recent study, from the UK's University of Nottingham Medical School, found that chamomile significantly relaxed blood vessels and smooth muscle fibers. This effect was due to three of chamomile's central constituents, apigenin, luteolin and bisabolol – all hydroxylates.
Sad: Have a Few Bananas.
Cheer Up ! Bananas contain tryptophan that the body converts into serotonin. Bananas can make you relax, feel happier and improve your mood.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !