Everyone’s heard the age-old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But what you might not know is that Newton’s inspirational fruit has another key benefit -; giving a bad mood the boot.
Along with getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, incorporating several healthy food types into your diet, such as the ones listed below, will help alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression that can bog down your state of mind and daily productivity.
* Omega-3 fatty acids. This essential nutrient, present in fishes like salmon and mackerel, has been highly researched for its mood and heart-boosting ability that will keep you feeling sharp. Omega-3 levels are higher in healthy brains than anywhere else in the human body, and experts agree that eating two meals of oily fish per week is highly beneficial to both mental and physical health.
* Amino acids. Protein is the only food source for amino acids, an integral part of what your brain uses to regulate the four brain chemicals needed for stable moods. Whether you prefer to get your protein from plant or animal sources, do ensure that you get sufficient in your daily diet ?
* High-quality carbohydrates and fiber. Avoiding refined, sugary carbs like the ones in regular soda, candy and fruit juice will keep you from experiencing a drastic spike in blood sugar, which will leave you feeling sluggish. Stick to the carbohydrates and soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils and oatmeal for a long-lasting and steady energy source. Maintaining a strong immune system is the best way to stay energized without high sugar or caffeine.
* Folic Acid and B12. Although no one has found a definitive answer as to why, low levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 have been linked to depression. Enjoy whole-grain breakfast cereals and many leafy greens for a healthy dose of folate.
Including these “mood foods” in small meals or snacks -; and eating every three to four hours -; will keep your metabolism high, hunger pangs low and give you an extra mental lift to make it through whatever the day throws your way.
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