April 30, 20127 Mood Boosting Food Selections to Soothe Mind, Body and Spirit:
The next time you reach for a bag of chips, candy or other quick pick-me-up to make it through the day, or to ease your mind, STOP, and make a different choice. Take a moment…breathe, and reach for something better to satisfy that inner craving, and to calm your body's fight or flight chemicals that are released during times of stress, exhaustion and frustration.
Practice "mindful munching" as you reach for a healthier, nutritious snack to satisfy your body, mind and soul. Below are a few suggestions to perk up your mood, energize your body, and soothe your soul. Plan ahead to have these foods available, consciously setting yourself up for successful, sustainable, stress management eating behaviors that support optimal health, happiness and well being.
Our body depends on us for proper nutrition and care, to keep it nourished, energized and well equipped to respond to the demands that we place upon it throughout each day, and throughout our lifetime.
STOP, and take a moment, practicing "mindfulness" in your food choices, as often as you can, wherever you are, and notice what a difference it makes in your body, mind, and spirit, and in your life. You just might be amazed, and glad you did.
7 FOODS TO SOOTHE MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT:
1. Chocolate: Yes, can you believe it? A few ounces of dark chocolate every day improves mood, concentration and blood flow to the brain, according to a recent report in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The darkest organic chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa is the preferred choice.
2. Cherry Tomatoes: Organic cherry tomatoes contain a higher level of lycopene, which is a fat soluble phytonutrient that helps protect vital brain fat. Lycopene also aids in halting the buildup of pro-inflammatory compounds that are linked to depression. Olive oil drizzled on a tomato enhances absorption of this vital nutrient. I'm hungry just thinking about it…Yum!
3. Blue Potatoes: Anthocyanins, responsible for the "blue" in the potato, are powerful antioxidants that boost short term memory and aid in reducing inflammation. The skins are chock full of iodine, which helps to regulate the thyroid. Organic is best, to avoid the toxic chemical sprays often found on potatoes.
4. Greek Yogurt: Reach for organic grass fed yogurt. Grass fed dairy is higher in healthy fats, and often contains greater amounts of CLA, a healthy fat that lessens stress on the brain. Calcium in yogurt alerts the body to release neurotransmitters, helping the body to feel less stress, more calm and peaceful.
5. Asparagus: One of my favorite veggies tops the list of tryptophan, which is a well known for aiding in the production of serotonin, a primary mood-regulating neurotransmitter in the brain. Another perk of asparagus is its high level of folate, of which lower levels have been noted in people who bout depression. Last, but not least, asparagus is a great hangover preventive, containing enzymes that assist in breaking down alcohol in the body's system. Cocktails at dinner…choose asparagus for a side dish. Bottoms up!!
6. Honey: Sweeten your food and your mood with the powerful anti-inflammatory and free radical clean-up properties of quercetin, kaempferol that are found in honey. Chronic low-grade inflammation is linked to some forms of depression.
7. Eggs: Not just any egg, mind you. Dr. Drew Ramsey, co-author of The Happiness Diet, recommends "pastured eggs." Not pasteurized. But eggs from hens that exercise, and are able to enjoy a diet of grass and bugs, supplemented with organic grains. Omega 3 enriched, and free range categories of eggs, typically found in the local grocery store, are not regulated. Dr Ramsey suggests to buy from reputable local farmers.
Don't know about you, but I'm hungry after writing about these yummy and healthy foods. Time for mindful munching to soothe my body, mind and spirit. Enjoy!!
Jeanie is a Wellness, Fitness, Life Coach and Inspirational Speaker. Visit www.jeanieward.com to learn more about her