If you did know about what is stress about, you should understand what a negative impact it can have on your life and future health.
As with many other conditions, it only makes sense that when you are eating better, you just FEEL better. However, when you are feeling stressed and flustered, you might not eat as healthy and spiral in to a cycle of unhealthy habits. For example, when life gets stressful, your sleep generally suffers. Lack of sleep makes you turn to caffeine to keep you awake and you get intense sugar cravings because your body is looking for a quick pick me up. To try to unwind, you might drink a little too much alcohol, which also disturbs your slumber. It is a vicious cycle!
Eating a healthy diet is like finding the golden ticket; you gain access to a whole new world of health! The only difference is that all it takes is a little education and an open mind to lead a healthier lifestyle. So don’t be left out!!
So let’s IMPROVE your mood with the following 6 nutrients, so that you are better able to lead a healthy lifestyle!
MAGNESIUM: Magnesium is a glorious nutrient that is essential for mood stabilization, especially for women! Magnesium improves a woman’s capacity to handle stressful situations, curbs PMS, and helps with sleep. Anxiety and insomnia are magnesium deficiency symptoms! Best sources? Dark leafy greens like Chard, wheat germ, nuts, and tofu.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: Omega-3′s help cushion your brain cells and have a stabilizing effect on mood. Salmon is a rich source of B12, which is a mood elevating vitamin!! Best sources: salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, herring, arctic char, and sole.
VITAMIN C: This nutrient helps pump oxygen through your body, which helps recharge your brain, lifting your mood. Start your day with an orange, some strawberries, or grapefruit! Other sources? Bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, raw cabbage, and cantaloupe!
B COMPLEX VITAMINS: This complex of water soluble nutrients plays an important role in serotonin production (a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on your brain). Best sources? dark leafy greens, eggs, fish, poultry, and whole grain cereals.
IRON: Iron is a nutrient that carries oxygen through your blood. This helps stimulate mental energy! If your iron intake is not adequate you can start to feel weak or tired, have a loss of appetite, and lower your immune system. Best sources: lean beef, dark leafy greens, eggs, tofu, peanut butter, oatmeal, whole grain bread, broccoli, green peas, and beans. Want better absorption? Pair with foods high in Vitamin C!
FIBER: Want to feel better? Up your fiber intake! Fiber keeps your digestive system moving and therefore keeps your hormone levels stable! Aim for 25-35 grams per day (or MORE!!). Best sources: whole grains, fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, and seeds.
BONUS FOOD: Dark Chocolate!! A recent study found that eating ~1.4 oz of dark chocolate (or 2 small squares) lowers the stress hormone cortisol! I suggest keeping the individually wrapped varieties on hand if you have trouble with portion control. A small amount each day is the perfect little treat, with a nutritional advantage to boot!
If you haven’t noticed a trend by now, most of these nutrients come from plants! It just goes back to my basic healthy living principle: the more fruits and vegetables you consume, the better your mind, body, and soul.
QUESTION: Which mood boosting foods do you consume regularly??