Guiltless Foods That Can Improve Your Mood

June 4, 2019

ID 43204962 © Scott Griessel | Dreamstime.com

More than a third of us reach for comfort foods during stressful times; starchy foods and desserts are go-to foods when the going gets rough, according to a recent national survey. But as it turns out, the foods that provide quick comfort may lead to more stress in the long run. For example, foods that are high on the glycemic index (that is, food from which the sugar is quickly absorbed, like refined carbs) make blood sugar surge, and then crash, resulting in spikes of the stress hormone adrenaline. And according to a 2019 study, a high-fat diet can disrupt normal functioning of the hypothalamus in mice, which in turn promotes symptoms associated with depression. While there are many different approaches for dealing with stress, arming your body with mood-boosting food is one of the most basic places to start. Pumpkin seeds is a great source of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and especially magnesium. Only about one-third of Americans meet their daily magnesium needs; not enough of this important mineral can lead to a higher risk of headaches, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness and high blood pressure. Dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach are packed with magnesium too. The gold standard of protein is the egg, which  provides  calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, E, and K – all in one little 80-calorie package – making them one of the most nutritionally-dense foods around; great for battling stress. Carrots, celery and their crunchy brethren work more on a mechanical level. Chomping and chewing work as physical relief to stress, and may be particularly helpful for those who have a habit of grinding their teeth. What do red peppers, papaya and kiwi have in common? They have more vitamin C per serving than oranges; and vitamin C is the key here. Multiple studies point to C for curbing stress hormones. Drinking black tea may help you recover from stressful events more quickly, according to a study. Chamomile tea has been used for ages to calm jitters and relieve stress.

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SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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