Mental Health Nutrition Wellness

Good Mood Foods

January 23, 2015

Good Mood Foods

Our bodies are a chemical factory. We use our foods to build muscle, fuel growth and movement, heal damaged cells, fight infection, and much more. So it only stands to reason, the foods we eat can influence how we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. As the computer term, GIGO stands for “Garbage in…Garbage Out”. Have a chef salad for lunch feel one way, have a Big Mac and large fries, feel another way.

Manage Your Diet, Manage Your Moods:

  • Eat regularly: 3 meals per day or 6 small meals per day.
  • Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast!
  • Eat a Well Balanced Diet: Refer to Choose My Plate
  • Consume caffeine and alcohol in moderation if at all!
  • Downer: Sugar and Simple Carbohydrates.

Junk foods earn their reputation. Foods such as white rice, potato chips, cookies, crackers, white pasta often take our bodies on a rollercoaster ride of sugar high and lows.

Enjoy lean Heart Healthy proteins like white meat of chicken and turkey, lean beef/pork, nuts, beans, and tofu. Eat more fish and strive to have at least 2 meals per week from fish.

Limit your fat to 25-30% of your calories from fat. Enjoy soft margarine and vegetable oils like canola oil or olive oil.

Chocolate is a well-known mood booster, and for good reasons. It contains several mood boosters: a dash of sugar to increase energy and serotonin levels, a pinch of phenylethylamine (a brain chemical that your body releases when you fall in love), smidgens of theobromine and magnesium to enhance brain function, a touch of caffeine to make you more alert, and few grams of protein to boost the excitatory neurotransmitters.

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