It has become common knowledge that the food we eat impacts our weight, our current health, and our risk of future disease. Growing evidence supports the concept that food has an impact on our mood, our memory, our energy, and our sleep.

The power of protein. 

Protein is the most powerful satiety producing macronutrient. Balancing your food plan with protein (plus whole grains and healthy fat) at each meal and snack will help you to maintain steady blood sugar levels.

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When your blood sugar is stable, you will have greater protection from mood swings and fatigue (1). Select: fish, lean chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, low-fat dairy, and soy.

Fill your plate with fiber. 

Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar, promote satiety, and help with weight loss and weight maintenance.

The recommended daily fiber intake is 14 grams per every 1,000 calories that you eat. Most Americans don’t get enough; the average intake is only 15 grams per day (2). Fiber helps to stabilize your blood sugar, which in turn helps to reduce mood swings.

Fiber also plays an important role in digestive health, which can directly impact how you feel. Select: raspberries, apples, pears, whole grains, darkly colored vegetables, beans and legumes.

“Beet” memory loss. 

Beets may help to protect against memory loss. Researchers at the Wake Forest Translational Science Center found that giving older adults a daily dose of beet juice helped to increase blood flow to the area of the brain associated with dementia (3).

If beet juice isn’t your favorite, get a serving by adding beets to your bowl whenever you eat at a salad bar. At home, try mixing grated raw beets into coleslaw, enjoy the classic combo of roasted beets, goat cheese, and arugula, or add canned beets into fruit smoothies.

Nutty about Nuts. 

A lack of selenium may negatively impact your mood. A great, and tasty way to get selenium is through eating Brazil nuts.

Nuts supply a good source of vitamin E and magnesium (4). Magnesium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining and protecting the body’s health. Deficiency can cause irritability, fatigue, mental confusion and predisposition to stress (5). Select: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and Brazil nuts.

Super Salmon. 

mood foods_2

Salmon is amazing for your mind. Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a structural component of the human brain that enables neurons to conduct signals and communicate with other cells.

Studies confirm that frequent fish eaters experience slower rates of cognitive decline as they age. Keep your brain sharp by eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice each week (6).

Happily hydrate. 

Limit caffeine containing beverages to no more than 2 per day. The high you feel from the caffeine is short lived and can leave some people feeling depressed when it’s over. Shorting your body from hydration can lead to fatigue. Select: plenty of water (8+ glasses per day), caffeine free tea, and try broth soups.

Beware the drive-thru. 

Generally speaking fast-food restaurants serve all food and beverages that leads to a poor mood; foods rich in refined carbohydrate, sugar, and saturated fats. Studies have found that food from McDonalds negatively impact blood vessel function and blood flow. That’s bad news for your heard and your head!

It all comes down to fueling your brain properly, to allow your brain to meet the needs of your body. Choose foods to give your brain, and your body, nutrients to stay healthy, energized, and happy!

Works Cited:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-to-balance-your-mood
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/040212p40.shtml
http://news.wfu.edu/2010/11/03/benefits-of-beet-juice/
http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-smart-healthier-brain
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/10-nutrients-that-can-lift-your-spirits/2014/01/14/05f4e514-7a4d-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_story.html
http://www.webmd.com/diet/eat-smart-healthier-brain
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/food-and-mood/bgp-20056183

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