FOODS FOR EVERY MOOD
Feeling sluggish or anxious? If you’re in good health it may be time to re-examine your diet. Not only does what you eat impact your weight and health, studies show it can affect your mental and emotional states as well, says Tanya Zuckerbrot, M.S., R.D., author of ‘The F-Factor Diet.’ Here, the nutrition expert recommends the best foods to boost your moods.
GIMME A BOOST
When you need extra energy to get through a long, busy day, protein will perk you up. Norepinephrine and dopamine, found in protein-rich foods, increase concentration and alertness.
Sources: Beans, lean poultry, red meat or cheese. Have a grilled chicken sandwich or turkey chili for lunch to power you through the afternoon.
BANISH BAD MOOD
Hostility, anger, and grumpiness are the essential ingredients of a bad mood. Several studies have linked low levels of selenium with tendencies towards anxiety and irritability, so load up on this nutrient to shake your foul mood. Sources: Sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals and Brazil nuts. Combine sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts with raisins and almonds for a mid-afternoon snack.
Sources: A small bowl of fiber-rich cereal with skim milk before bed can help give you a good night’s sleep.
DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY
Nervous about attending that party or your upcoming date? Foods that stimulate the release of dopamine may produce pleasant feelings, translating to a more approachable persona.
Sources: Bananas, milk and leafy greens. For a quick pick-me-up, try blending skim milk, ice and a banana for a delicious smoothie.
LET’S GET IT ON
Kids, stress and busy schedules are all common causes of bedroom boredom. A little bit of folate and zinc could go a long way to spice up your sex life. Folate boosts the production of histamine (an essential ingredient for orgasm in both sexes), while zinc helps to increase sperm count.
Fish is more than just brain food. Recent studies have shown that the omega-3 acids found in fatty fish may help ease symptoms of depression by raising the levels of serotonin in the brain.
Sources: Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, tuna or sardines. Make a tuna fish sandwich for lunch, have sushi for dinner or try tossing a few anchovies onto your pizza.
If anxiety is keeping you up at night, a small, carbohydrate-based snack may be just what you need to relax and ease into sleep. Serotonin has been shown to have a calming effect, and production can be boosted by eating carbohydrates. Sources: A small bowl of fiber-rich cereal with skim milk before bed can help give you a good night’s sleep.
Sources: Sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals and Brazil nuts. Combine sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts with raisins and almonds for a mid-afternoon snack.