Great tips of how food can deal with your moods:

Posted Thursday, October 25th, 2012. Filed Under My Daily Dose

Dr. Oz in the November 2012 issue shares how certain foods can help you. I want to share what he has to say:

1. If you are feeling anxious you can turn to brazil nuts to munch on to give you some laid back vibes. These nuts are loaded with selenium, a trace mineral that plays an important role in the brain. Just one ounce contains over 700 percent of your recommended daily intake. Several studies have shown that low levels of selenium lead to increased anxiety and depression, while greater selenium intake has been linked to lower anxiety and an overall improvement in mood.

Other selenium-rich foods are tuna, garlic, or mushrooms!

2. If you are feeling stressed reach for vitamin-C rich bell peppers and citrus fruits that can help lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that is released when your body goes into flight-or-flight mode, sending more sugar into the bloodstream. Research suggests that large doses of vitamin C may actually stop stress before it starts by reducing the amount of cortisol released. For maximum intake, stick with raw sources – vitamin C is quite unstable and breaks down during cooking.

3. If you are feeling agitated and your mind is racing, especially before bed, tart cherry juice might help. In a recent study, eight ounces of the juice in the morning and before bedtime proved an effective sleep aid in older adults. One reason is that these cherries are high in melatonin, the hormone that initiates your sleep cycle. Scientists are not 100% sure how melatonin works, however it is intricately tied to our biological clocks and circadian rhythms. It’s also linked to dark and light, with levels rising after sun goes down. An increase in the hormone tells your brain it’s time to wind down and settle in for the night.

4. If you are feeling foggy, dazed and confused snack on colourful fruits like pineapple, cranberries, and plums. These fruits contain antioxidants that fight off free radicals known to damage neurons in the brain (and potentially harm your memory); aim for several servings a day. For sharper focus, fill your plate with omega-3-fatty acid rich fish like salmon. The medical journal of American Academy of Neurology recently reported that low levels of omega-3s not only decreased problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities but were linked to lower brain volume as well. Omega-3s are an essential component of our cell membranes- the more we have, the better our neurons function. 3 servings a week are good!

5. If you are feeling angry, annoyed or irritated look at your serotonin levels. Studies show that lower levels of serotonin inhibit the brain’s ability to regulate anger, while normal levels can lead to calmer, more controlled responses. To keep cool, try a plantain. These tropical treats have one of the highest serotonin concentrations around (30 micrograms per gram). Banana’s also offer a good serotonin punch!

One last suggestion is if you want to beat emotional eating:

a) If you are eating to deal with stress, what you need is a mental distraction – anything fun takes your mind off your worries. Instead of relying on food, call a friend or listen to music to get your mind off troubling thoughts.

b) If you are eating to feel better emotionally, you don’t need a lot of comfort food to improve your outlook. Go for quality, not quantity. For instance, a bit of dark chocolate may trigger a release of mood-boosting opioids. A 2004 study showed that around 2 ounces of chocolate can have a positive effect on mood.

c) Be aware of food pushers — people who encourage you to try the cookies they baked or have another serving of cake. If saying “no thank you” doesn’t work, offer to take some home!

Everything is moderation and baby steps.

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