Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Improve Your Mood with Yummy Food!

Many people decide to make New Year's resolutions involving eating healthier, losing weight, exercising, and just generally doing things to have a more healthy lifestyle.

Instead of beating yourself up and denying yourself things, how about trying to incorporate positive and healthful things into your life instead?  One of the easiest and best ways that we can nurture our bodies and souls is with what we put inside ourselves.  It's true that food is considered an enemy to some misinformed folks seeking to lose weight, but food can be friend as well.  It nourishes you.  It helps you repair your body.  It's fuel and medicine.

With depression running rampant in many nations, it is important to step back and figure out just what we can do to address our own feelings and emotions.  If you're suffering from a depressed state, I recommend you check with your doctor for ways to alleviate this.  In the meantime, it's also good to consider your diet.  Are you getting the nutrition that you need?

My mother-in-law recently discussed how wonderful it felt to get a B-vitamin shot.  And no wonder -- the B complex is full of substances that can help to improve our well-being.  B1 (Thyamine) helps our nervous system, and B3 (Niacin) can lift the mood.  Other B vitamins can help with the joints, lessen fatigue, stabilize the mood, and help the body recover from stress.  Foods that are rich in B vitamins are dairy (such as cheese or yogurt), green leafy veggies (like kale or spinach), beans, nuts, eggs, and even liver.

Vitamin D is another often overlooked vitamin that can help to improve mood, memory, and bodily functions.  It enables us to absorb much-needed calcium; without vitamin D, we may not be getting adequate calcium regardless of how rich in calcium our diets may be.  It is often added to foods such as milk or orange juice, as well as fortified breakfast cereals.  Cod liver oil is a great source of this vitamin, but if you cannot stomach it, try incorporating other things into your diet such as fish, soy-based foods, mushrooms, and eggs.
If you're looking for a quick-and-dirty boost in endorphins, treat yourself to some vitamin C.  It helps the body to create endorphins, which are substances that create a feeling of happiness and well-being.  Oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and dark leafy greens are the perfect choices to pack your plate with vitamin C.  Of course, chocolate also produces those delicious endorphin-creating substances that we crave!  But be sure to eat it in moderation. ;)

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