Got the blues? Irritable and snapping at everybody around you? Even if you’re not, would you say ‘no’ to being in an even better mood? One great way to boost your mood is… to eat! Studies have actually shown that certain foods can boost your mood, making you calmer and more alert.
Often when you feel low, you’re craving a sugar rush. The reason you reach out for that tempting candy or a can of soda is that these tend to give you an instant spike in blood sugar, making you feel good, but only for a while. Instead, it’s better to control your blood sugar to prevent sudden dips, by eating consistently. This gives your body and brain a constant fuel source. But before you reach for that packet of gummy bears or serve yourself an extra scoop of rich chocolate ice cream, you might want to consider the healthier options available. Making better choices will not only have you feeling better, but also help make sure you consume the right kind of calories.
Feeling stressed out? It’s a rather common occurrence with our all-too-hectic lifestyles. When you feel the stress build up, reach for that piece of chocolate secreted under the pile of papers in your drawer. Yes, you heard right! Sugars are bad; but studies have shown that dark chocolate helps reduce the stress hormones that tend to swarm our body. Just don’t go and finish off a huge bar of it! Break off a small piece (or two) and feel the stress ebb away. This will help you get your work done much faster… and sweeter!
Angry because a whole load of work was dumped into your lap just as you were leaving the office? Or maybe the neighbour’s dog kept you awake half the night and the smallest things are setting you off now. Try sipping a cup of green tea to calm down. Green tea has high theanine content, which can help calm you down and improve your concentration. The low caffeine content in the tea won’t do any harm, either. You might even call your neighbour over to share a cuppa with you!
Feeling sad and need a happiness boost? Though a sugar rush can do a good job for a very short time, what will keep you smiling longer is a boost of vitamin D. Serotonin, also called the ‘feel-good’ hormone, can help you feel relaxed and happy. Have a bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk and some strawberries. The vitamin D present in cereals can help reduce feelings of depression. And to top it off, the bright colour of the strawberries will make you feel better! A diet rich in Omega-3 also helps improve your mood. Try some poached salmon or sardines with whole wheat bread, and you’ll start feeling better sooner than you thought.
When you are feeling sluggish and fighting to keep your eyes open, a cup of coffee might do the trick. But what’s even better is a fresh salad filled with green leafy veggies, or even a spinach sandwich. Rich in folic acid, foods such as spinach and other green leafy vegetables, potatoes (not the fried ones!), peas and mushrooms fuel the brain with the necessary nutrients and give it a wake-up call. So, the next time you feel that yawn coming on, try a tasty leafy salad!
A second helping of creamy pasta or a candy bar is not only tempting, but provides temporary mood boosts that can make you feel on top of the world. They might serve as a feel-good factor for a short time like any other high-carb and high-comfort food. But the feeling will undoubtedly be short-lived, and your weighing scale may just make your mood plummet. So next time your mood takes a turn for worse, try some of the healthier options for improving your mood. Forget the tub of ice cream. A better eating plan may be just what you need. Eat healthy; happiness is just a bite away!