Saturday, April 13, 2013

Food and You - How to Boost Your Mood With Food

America is known for being an obese nation. There are several laws that are being enforced in order to reduce the waist size and improve the health of Americans. For instance, the mayor of New York is trying to enforce limits on the size of sugary soft drinks that can be sold out of many establishments. Many of the sweet snacks and drinks that were in the school vending machines have been replaced by veggie chips, granola bars, and water. In certain stores, it costs more to buy a bottle of soda than a bottle of juice or water that is the same size. All of these efforts are being expended in an attempt to help us to experience a more fulfilling existence by being nutritionally fit.
Great lengths have been taken in order to equip our society with the knowledge it needs to be physically healthy. What about our mental health? The brain is part of the body and it can also be positively or negatively affected by what we eat. Certain foods will give us that brain burst that we are looking for and there are others that will depress our moods - causing us to foster emotions of hopelessness and irritability. For this reason, it is important for us to understand how foods affect our mood as well as our physical being.
One tip for lifting your emotional spirits and thrusting off the heavy baggage of emotional woe is to eat foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat. We should also eat foods that are rich in B12 and folic acid. Studies have shown that foods which contain B12 and folic acid help to prevent disorders of the central nervous system, mood swings and dementias. Foods like beans and greens usually have folic acid in them. Meats, fish, poultry, and dairy all contain B12.
Eating fruits and vegetables is another way to boost your mood indirectly. Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that make your body function correctly thus making you feel healthier. A person that eats a lot of fruits and vegetables is less likely to be in a depressed state because they feel better about themselves which changes their overall outlook on life.
Another tip for controlling your mood is eating fish. Studies have shown that people who eat fish that is high in Omeg-3 fatty acid have a lower risk of displaying symptoms of depression. Salmon, sardines, tuna, and herring are all fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
While these tips may assist you on the road to living a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life, I realize that it is only the tip of the iceberg. Maintaining good mental health which leads to overall wellness is a daunting task. However, even if we start with these baby steps, we will still arrive at our destination which is a happier, healthier you and me.
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