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Feel Good Foods: Boosting Your Mood With Smart Food Choices

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

In a culture obsessed with eating, far too often we end up turning to food to make us feel better or for emotional support. After a bad day we’ll turn to a bowl of pasta and a bag of cookies, or we’ll stop at our favorite take-out spot and binge until we’re stuffed. In reality, though, when have you ever actually felt better after these trysts with your favorite foods? Almost always you’re left feeling guilty and bloated. There are a couple, healthier foods, however, that will actually make you feel better when you’re under your bad-day blues.

Feeling worn down and sad, reach for a handful of peanuts! Peanuts, especially organic varieties, are chocked full of vitamin E, folic acid, healthy fats, and other nutrients that can actually lift your spirits, rather than hinder them. On top of that, peanuts are also high in protein and fiber which can help boost you out of your afternoon slump.

Zest up your life with a fresh, citrus pick me up. When you’re looking to boost your mood look no further than your favorite citrus fruit such as an orange or Clementine. Oranges and other citrusy treats are loaded with B vitamin and folic acid, which help bring up your mood, as well as vitamin C to help lower your stress level. On top of that, who doesn’t love the smell that citrus peels give off; including an extra, mood-enhancing air freshener.

Still looking for a starch-fix? You can still give in to your carbohydrate craving and increase your mood if you make sure that your carbs contain whole grains. Whole grains, such as whole grain pastas, breads, and cereals, still provide you with the expected quick energy boost of complex carbohydrates while also providing high levels of B vitamins. B vitamins are key nutrients for good mood, and research even shows that deficiencies can lead to heightened stress, irritability and depression.

For a quick snack that will also make you feel good turn to your favorite type and flavor of yogurt. Full of protein, calcium, and probiotics, yogurt is a great way to battle your bad mood, curb your carb cravings, and boost your energy levels. To increase the protein and leave off a couple of carbs, grab a Greek yogurt and feel even better.

To kick your bad mood to the curb, fix yourself a fillet of your favorite, fatty fish. Fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, or mackerel, are full of healthy Omega-3 oils. Omega-3s have positive effects on your brain function, warding off depression and anxiety. Their anti-inflammatory properties also assist the rest of your body making you feel better inside and out. A good piece of fish is also a great way to fulfill that bad mood craving for salty foods.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Feel Good Foods: Boosting Your Mood With Smart Food Choices

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