Is feeling blue just part of the human condition?
But what if you could limit how often a blue mood occurs? Wouldn't you want to do that?
You might be surprised to find that there are certain foods you can eat that might help.
Research has found that a number of foods have the ability to lessen stress, ease anxiety and even fight depression. And, did you know that when you’re in a better mood you’re more likely stay on track with your weight loss goals?
Well, you know the formula: diet + exercise = weight-loss success, however, there is another crucial factor in that equation that’s often overlooked – and, that’s the mental aspect.
How you handle stress and sadness can make or break your weight loss and fitness goals.
If you’re suffering from anxiety over work, or depressed over a breakup, there are chemical processes that take place in the body, triggering it to react a certain way to temptations. That includes those donuts Sharon brought to the office and the urge to stay in bed instead of hitting the gym.
Any form of sadness, from a blue mood to major depression, effects neurotransmitters that control the way you think, your appetite and behavior.
It can make you more likely to skip exercise, eat unhealthy foods and gain weight.
If you’re under a lot of stress, it causes the body to release a hormone known as cortisol, which makes us crave comfort foods like French fries with gravy or cupcakes.
It can be a vicious cycle – you’re depressed, so you eat more and exercise less, gain weight and then feel even worse! There are few of us who haven’t experienced this at one time or another.
By eating certain foods, you can reduce your chances of getting into that frustrating cycle – and feel a lot better inside and out on a day-to-day basis.
If you don’t believe that food can change your mood, just think about your Thanksgiving turkey.
How do you feel after you eat it? Sleepy and relaxed, right? That’s because of its tryptophan content, which is nearly as effective at calming your nerves as a dose of valium.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are few things that can pick you up.
Chocolate is something many of us turn to during a blue mood, so you may not be surprised to find that there is actually some science behind the theory that indulging in a little makes us happy.
Consuming it has been found to reduce stress hormones like cortisol. Just make sure it's Dark Chocolate (80% Cacao) and you don’t overdo it or you might find the pounds creeping up.
The good news is that exercise is a great mood booster too! You can always get some more movement in to make up for that mood boosting latte!
Another reason to eat healthy, whole foods is that they can make you happy.
Fill your diet with lots of fruits and veggies, along with foods that have a high omega-3 fatty acid content like wild-caught salmon and flaxseeds.
Omega-3s have been found to alter brain chemicals associated with mood, like serotonin and dopamine.
On the other hand, low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression and even suicidal tendencies. Dopamine, is known as the “reward” chemical, which the brain releases in response to a pleasurable experience.
Folate, which is a B vitamin found in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, affects neurotransmitters that affect the mood.
Getting rid of the junk and filling your body with the nutrients it needs is bound to keep you feeling happier, healthier and looking great too.
Yours in Health,