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Foods to Combat a Bad Mood

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(photo by @Doug88888, flickr)

Feeling stressed, sad or cranky? Try these foods to feel a little better!

Woman’s Day is out with a list to help cure your grouchiness! Here are foods the experts recommend:

1. If you’re stressed, have some chocolate to calm down fast. Experts say that dark chocolate especially may help reduce stress hormones. Research shows that eating just a piece of dark chocolate has the power to lower stress hormones in your body to reduce your anxiety.

2. If you’re sluggish, have a spinach salad. It will help you concentrate and boost your energy better than coffee. Folic acid, or folate, is a big help to your body. Spinach and other leafy greens are high in folate, as are potatoes, cereals, beans, peas, mushrooms, and fortified breads.

3. If you’re cranky, eat an apple with peanut butter. Stop yourself from snapping at the kids with some fuel for your body that doesn’t leave you with a blood sugar crash an hour later….which will make you cranky all over again. Blast irritability with combinations foods — foods that combine a carb and protein or fat. Carbs provide quick energy, but that alone will burn out quickly. So adding some fat or protein to the carb will slow the digestion process, causing your sugar and energy levels to remain stable for a longer amount of time. Eat an apple with peanut butter that could give you energy for hours!

4. Are you worrying? If you experience anxiety, try salmon. It’s one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps tame anxiety. In fact, regularly eating omega-3s can prevent or decrease depression and help reduce anger and irritability. While there are plant-based sources of omega-3s, doctors say fish works best because it’s got a specific form of omega-3 that most strongly boosts mood…specifically coldwater fish like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel.

5. If you’re angry and need to calm down fast, sip a cup of green tea. Doctors, researchers and nutrition experts say green tea contains theanline, which can calm you and help you concentrate and focus, too. And tea’s modest amount of caffeine won’t send you over the edge…it’s gentler on your body than coffee.

6. If you’re sad, eat whole-grain cereal with lowfat milk for a happiness boost. Even if you are sad because of a relationship or work, it could also have something to do with a deficiency of vitamin D in your diet. And vitamin D has many roles in your body, one of which is to help in the production of serotonin — the ‘feel-good hormone’ that can help you feel calm, relaxed and happy. So if you’re low on vitamin D, you may be affecting your body’s ability to stabilize your mood. To boost your intake of vitamin D, try lowfat fortified milk, fortified cereals, or mushrooms. You could also boost your vitamin D with a calcium and vitamin D supplement.

7. If you suffer from PMS, eat an egg salad sandwich. Of course PMS might turn you into a comfort-food seeker, but instead of turning to mac ‘n’ cheese, potato chips or ice cream, make an egg salad sandwich. You are craving carbs but high-sugar, high-fat carbs like donuts can actually leave you feeling sluggish or grumpy once your blood sugar spikes and then drops. So opt for whole grains like whole-wheat bread for extra PMS-zapping strength, paired with tryptophan-rich protein like eggs, sunflower seeds or turkey. And instead of using all mayo, substitute a teaspoon of fat-free or lowfat plain Greek yogurt and half a teaspoon of whole-grain Dijon mustard.

 

 

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