Thursday, June 7, 2012

Good Foods for a Good Mood


To maintain a good mood throughout the day, it is important to eat foods that don't shock your system but keep you even and balanced.  Stay away from highly processed foods (don't eat anything that is handed to you through a window!) since over time these foods will cause bad health mentally and physically.

For a well-rounded good mood diet, include fats that are best for your brain (wild salmon and shrimp) and whole foods that have lots of vitamins and minerals such as B-complex vitamins, vitamin D and iodine (cherry tomatoes, watermelon, chile peppers, beets and garlic.

Studies show that populations that eat the most fish have the lowest rates of depression, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression and seasonal affective disorder. Tomatoes are the world's most popular berry (yes, that's true -- berry!) They are high in mood enhancers such as lycopene, folate and magnesium and also contain iron and vitamin B6.  And watermelon has even more lycopene than the tomato!  Chili peppers are spicy due to the fat-soluble molecule they contain called capsaicin.  When we eat spicy peppers, we can experience a euphoric response much like the release of endorphins when we exercise.

Beets can be prepared in so many healthy ways and are one of the best sources of the B vitamin folate.  This B vitamin is important for good mood but also helps with memory retrieval, brain processing speed and fast reflexes.  Garlic is part of a family of vegetables called alliums which are a source for the mineral chromium.  This mineral is needed for your body to properly respond to the hormone insulin and is effective in treating low energy levels and carbohydrate craving.

Additional good mood foods include apples, lentils, milk, sardines and yogurt.

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