Foods that improve your mood

Three or more times a day we medicate our bodies with the foods we eat. If you choose high quality whole foods you’re less likely to endure the ups and downs of a high sugar, high fat diet. Your diet impacts your mood. Change your diet and change your life. It’s that simple.

A lifelong goal of good health and eating right becomes increasingly important in our later years. Each senior has different nutritional needs and unique health conditions that affect what they can or cannot eat. Always consult your doctor and/or nutritionist before switching diets, as not all of these foods may be right for your body.

Feeling sluggish?

Snack on folate-rich foods such as green vegetables, legumes, and enriched grains. Folate is a nutrient that can boost your levels of serotonin, a feel-good hormone. If you’re not getting enough iron, you’re depriving your brain of oxygen, which can make you feel fatigued. Eat spinach to carry oxygen to your brain.

Feeling Exhausted?

Eat fish, meet, lamb, milk, chicken and tofu. A deficiency in B12 is more common in vegans because B12 is found in animal products. Vegetarians can get some help from raw cow’s milk or organic milk

Citrus can make you feel more alert.  Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. Even the scent of citrus may help perk you up.

Feeling cranky?

Eat a complex carbohydrate and protein combo.  Crankiness is often the result of a blood sugar drop. Eat a complex carbohydrate and a protein to keep your blood sugar consistent throughout the day. An apple provides the healthy carbs and adding peanut butter provides the protein. Also eat carrots and hummus, blueberries and cottage cheese, or a handful of edamame. Edamame (boiled soybeans) is packed with both carbs and protein.

Feeling Sad and Depressed?

Magnesium is a mineral that  produces serotonin, the body’s feel good medicine. Good sources of magnesium include halibut, almonds, cashews, unprocessed peanut butter, spinach, black eyed peas, lentils, kidney and pinto beans, baked potatoes, and long grain brown rice.

Low levels of omega3 fatty acids have been linked to depression. Load up on oily fish, like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Salmon is also rich in B12, which is a mood-elevating vitamin, so it’s a double whammy. If you don’t like fish are you willing to eat some once a week for the sake of your good health?

Feeling Anxious?

Try magnesium-rich foods such as oatmeal and almonds.  Magnesium is a naturally powerful relaxant – it can even help you sleep. Both anxiety and insomnia are signs of magnesium deficiency.

Feeling Angry?

Feeling anger is more about avoiding certain foods. Spicy peppers heat the body up and if you’re already heated, you don’t need anything else to help fuel the flame. The main allergic response to wheat and casein in milk products can be brain inflammation, which causes hostility

Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that’s been proven to be calming. Perhaps you are feeling irritable because your body is low in vitamin B6.  Go for the bananas, chicken, potatoes and brown rice.

Feeling Stressed?

1.4 ounces, about two squares of a dark chocolate bar, has the power to lower the stress hormone cortisol in your body and it helps to lower stress hormones

Blueberries can help relieve stress. The tiny berry is loaded with vitamin C, which is a stress reducer.

Feeling Restless?

Cottage cheese contains tryptophan, a sleep inducing amino acid that relaxes the entire body and mind. If you don’t eat dairy, tryptophan can be found in soy milk, tofu, hummus, and lentils.

Feeling Too Bloated?

Dark leafy greens help deflate us after we’ve overindulged and put on a few pounds. They fuel the liver, which is your body’s fat burning machine and they are also loaded with antioxidants and fiber.

Feeling Bewildered by a Lack of Clarity and from a Memory Loss?

Blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries activate the brain’s natural ‘housekeeper’ mechanism, which cleans up and recycles toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss and other mental decline.
About two years ago, researchers in Austria found that caffeinated coffee can temporarily sharpen a person’s focus and memory.

The least mental decline came from the low-fat, high-fiber DASH diet- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  DASH is a diet commonly used to combat high blood pressure, which is one of the risk factors for dementia.

The DASH diet

 There is no magic bullet discovery. An overall heart-healthy lifestyle is protective against dementia. Foods to improve brain function and help to maintain memory include shellfish, low fat foods, salmon, canola oil, avocado, and eggs.

Bone Health

As we age, our bones get weaker and more brittle. Women in particular are at risk for osteoporosis. Drink fortified milk and orange juice fortified with vitamin D, kale, cottage cheese, cabbage, and yogurt.

Dental Health

Keep your teeth strong and cavity-free by eating raisins, raw broccoli, cooked spinach and drink 6 glasses of water per day.

Avoid Empty Calories

Seniors require less calorie intake than younger people, which means that the calories consumed should be full of proteins and vitamins, not sugars and alcohol. Avoid carbonated sodas with sugar and sugar substitutes. 

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are credited with helping to prevent cancer and helping the body get the most nutrients from food. Eat carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and blueberries.

How is your frame of mind today? What did you eat to improve your body and mind?  Change your eating routine, change your life.

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