Sunday, December 5, 2010

Food that boosts your mood

One thing that continues to fascinate me in all of the research that I do is how I continue to find that one's mindset and attitude have so much to do with success. If you believe it then you can be it kind of a thing. Everything talks about seratonin levels and getting the right ammount of sleep (not too little not too much). So there really is something to the idea that positive thought has positive outcomes. Because this seems to be something that continues to come up I figured it would be a great thing to discuss. The mind, body and spirit all need to be in a good place for one to see serious results. I came across an article that discussed 3 mind boosting foods (where I understand what they are talking about, I still think it some of them need to be done in moderation). I will share this article with you.

The article entitled "Mood Boosting Food" written by Ana Mantica talks about how when people have a bad day we tend to eat something that's not good for us. Our comfort food, for some of us it may be a bowl of ice cream, others it may be donuts or a beer. Whatever it is for some reason we think it will make our crappy day better, but it won't. Mantica talks about if we are having a down day then the best thing to do is be conscious of what kind of foods we are grabbing. These foods actually have the power to turn our frowns upside down as they are mood boosters. Here is what they are:

Fruit, veggies, fish and other whole foods: A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, it was reported that out of 3,500 men and women those who ate a diet of mainly whole foods in previous years were less likely to have feelings of depression than those who ate desserts, fried foods, processed meats, refried grains and high-fat dairy products. There have been lots of studies done associated with food and how it affects ones mood and one thing that continues to surface is that antioxidants in fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids in fish are linked to lower rates of depression. "Folate, a B vitamin found in dark green vegetables like spinach, beans and citrus, affects neurotransmitters that impact mood. It’s possible that the protective effect of the whole-food diet comes from a cumulative effect of these nutrients", says lead study author Tasnime N. Akbaraly, Ph.D.

Carbs: (this one do with caution). Mantica says that it is OK to go ahead and grab a bagel at Panera, but I wouldn't go overboard doing this (especially women). I say this because women tend to carry weight from carbs much more than men do, but if done in balance I'm sure it is fine. This is what the article said about carbs. In a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, they found that people who followed a low-carb diet that allowed only 20 to 40 grams of carbs a day (equivilant to like a 1/2 cup of rice and one piece of bread) for a year were more likely to experience depression, anxiety and anger than those who weren't eating that way. Those who ate a low-fat, high-carb diet and focussed mainly on low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and beans didn't suffer the same experiences as those doing the low carb diet. This is because researchers believe that carbs promote that happy hormone we keep hearing about, that's right serotonin. "Also, the challenge of following ssuch a restrictive low-carb diet for a full year may have negatively impacted mood, " said study author Grant D. Brinkworth, Ph.D.

Chocolate: What? You're probably thinking no way, right? Well according to a study done at the NestlĂ© Research Center in Switzerland (consider the source) they found that eating 1.4 ouces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, which also includes cortisol. "Polyphenols (antioxidants) in chocolate, and also in fruits and vegetables, may have contributed to the changes [in stress] in this study,” explains Douglas G. Mashek, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. However even Mantica says at the end of her article to be sure to account for the 235 calories that this ammount of chocolate will add to your daily diet. Putting on pounds can add stress and if that happenes then this study is entirely obsolete.

Do whatever you need to do to try to stay in a good mood, surround yourself with positive people and positive environments. This will also lead to less stressful days. Always try to see things on the brighter side even when it's hard. Just remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Until tomorrow everyone, think happy thoughts!

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