Ten Kind of Foods That Boost Your Moods

Author: stddst

Someone may not recognize it, their carbohydrate cravings may actually be her body’s way of helping her to feel hap pier. In the past two decades, a number of studies have confirmed a link between certain foods and our ability to feel more alert, calm, and even upbeat. “We’ve found that some foods influence the production of brain chemicals that are directly involved in determining our mood, mental energy, performance, and behavior says Judith Wurtman, a nutrition researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Many good-mood foods may already be sitting in your kitchen. Here are some of the most important ones.
Whole-Grain Bread.
Most foods contain one or more of 20 different amino acids, molecules found in animal and plant proteins necessary for good health. Like the lobbyists, amino acids compete to deliver messages to the brain. In this case, eating a few slices of plain, whole-grain bread helps the amino acid tryptophan’s message be “heard”: relax, be happy. Once it enters the brain, tryptophan boosts levels of serotonin, the soothing, mood-elevating brain chemical also stimulated by the anti-depressant Prozac.
The trick is to eat the bread ahead of any protein rich meal or cheese. This allows tryptophan to enter the brain before other amino acids can crowd it out.
Turkey

This low-fat protein source is rich in an amino acid called tyrosine, which boosts levels of the brain chemicals dopamine, and norepinephrine, and in turn improves motivation and reaction time. U. S. military research has indicated that tyrosine lifts energy levels and helps the body to cope better with stress.
A turkey sandwich or turkey noodle soup may produce the same results. Effective alternatives to turkey are tuna and chicken.

Beef
Complete avoidance of red meat may do more harm than good. People on low cholesterol diets may experience iron deficiencies that make them feel tired and blue. Iron keeps the body’s cells fueled with oxygen and, thus, energized.
Illinois State University nutrition professor Jan Shane discovered that those who ate as little as three ounces of beef, a small hamburger, per day absorbed 50 percent more iron than those on a vegetarian diet, suggesting that a little bit of beef may be a good energy source, “Consumers need to change their thinking about beef as something that is terrible for them, “says Shane. ”You need to eat only about three ounces of it each day to significantly improve your iron absorption. ”

Water
Mild dehydration is a common but often overlooked cause of fatigue, says Elizabeth Somer, author of Food Mood. When the body dehydrates, blood flow to the organs decreases and the body slows down. Drinking enough water each day can prevent you from feeling lethargic.
But don’t rely on thirst, Somer says. Most adults should drink eight to ten glasses of water per day. Caffeinated soft drinks and coffee, however, are no substitute. They may act as diuretics and increase dehydration.

Bananas

Magnesium deficiency and stress are linked so closely that some doctors and dietitians advise people who lead hectic lives to add magnesium-rich foods like bananas to their diets. Most Americans do not eat the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium (280 mg for women, 350 mg for men), says Dr. Mildred S. Seelig, former president of the American College of Nutrition. If you juggle a hectic schedule, the problem is worse: stress hormones, which flood the body during times of tension- drain magnesium from cells, resulting in lower resistance to colds and viruses and a tired feeling.

Researchers have also found that increased magnesium intake results in less anxiety and better sleep. If you don’t like bananas, other good magnesium sources are nuts, beans, and leafy greens.

Oranges and Grapefruits

Researchers have found that even a small deficiency in vitamin C, a key ingredient for boosting levels of energizing norepinephrine, can leave you feeling irritable and blue, A lack of vitamin C rich foods also inhibits your body’s ability to absorb the iron it needs to fight fatigue.
In a 2001 study of more than 1000 men, German researchers found that among those with diets only slightly deficient in vitamin C, a daily dose of 150 mg, roughly the amount in two oranges, resulted in less nervousness, crankiness, and depression.
Consuming more than this amount of vitamin C may make you feel even more upbeat.University of Alabama researchers found that those who regularly consumed more than 400 mg of vitamin C per day (roughly two 12-ounce glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice or six oranges) were half as tired as those who consumed less than 100 mg. per day. Vitamin C supplements are also effective.

Brazil Nuts.

Due to the rich soil in which they grow, Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium, a trace mineral that some research has linked to upbeat moods.
In a 2001 study involving 17 men and 33 women at the University of Wales, Swansea, those given 100 micrograms of selenium (the equivalent of one or two Brazil nuts) each day for five weeks reported a greater sense of happiness, more energy and a reduction in anxiety compared to participants given a placebo. These results were especially evident among those with low levels of dietary selenium, illustrating the importance of having a sufficient amount of this mineral in your diet. Other good sources of selenium: seafood, beef and whole-grain pieces of bread.

Chocolate
Many women crave chocolate, especially when they’re suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or when boredom or stress strikes. There are a number of possible reasons for this. Some experts believe that like many sweet carbohydrates, chocolate may have a soothing effect. Others suggest that caffeine and similar substances in chocolate may act as stimulants. If nothing else? The sheer pleasure of eating it may be all you need to lift your spirits.

Coffee
That morning cup really can jump-start your day. Recent research links the amount of caffeine in one to two cups to clear thinking and more energy for up to three hours. In a study of50 sleep-deprived people, the amount of caffeine in as little as 1.5cups of coffee boosted their concentration, energy and confidence levels.
Some researchers believe caffeine causes a slight, temporary rise in blood pressure and blocks hormonal messengers that lull us to sleep. However, more than two or three cups a day may make you irritable and jittery.

Blot Peppers
If you like hot salsa, you may be attracted to more than its taste. According to toUniversity of Pennsylvania researcher Paul Rozin, capsaicin can stimulate the mouth’s nerve endings, causing a burning sensation. In response, Rozin theories, the brain releases endorphins, natural painkillers that may produce a temporary high.
So, the more hot peppers you eat, the stronger the soothing effect. In fact, some hot pepper lovers may just be hooked on the high. Moral of this story: when you eat certain foods you may become addicted to staying in a good mood.

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