FEEL BETTER WITH
By Rebecca Jacobs
What if I told you there are many delicious foods that are not only healthy for you they also improve your mood? Food has the power to not only cure disease and support normal body functions, it can also have a positive effect on our overall mental health. Some foods contain elements that make us feel happier and increase our focus, energy, and motivation. Let’s look at five foods guaranteed to give us a lift.
Eggs are a simple and fairly inexpensive food to add to any diet and contain high levels of protein, iron, and B-vitamins. The latter are essential for providing energy and boosting your mood. The variety of amino acids found in eggs can lift your spirits, relieve stress, and assist with sleep. (1) An egg omelet with vegetables for breakfast or boiled eggs for an afternoon snack at work may give you just the pick-me-up you need to get through your day.
I’m sure you’ve heard that chocolate actually has health benefits. This is true. Now, I’m not talking about the sugar-loaded chocolate bars by the grocery store checkout. Choose 70 percent or higher unsweetened dark chocolate or raw cocoa powder. Raw cocoa is great for heart health, but it is also an excellent choice when you need a little lift. Raw cocoa works on the neurotransmitters in the brain to make you feel better. It can even help you relax. Homemade hot cocoa made with a little raw cocoa, full-fat coconut milk, and a teaspoon of pure maple syrup is a delicious treat at any time of day.
Salmon is extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats that are critical for brain health. It’s also effective in providing that extra something to improve your energy throughout the day. Enjoy salmon twice a week to fuel your brain with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are needed to support overall digestive health. There have been countless studies done on the power of the gut and brain connection and how they relate to each other. It turns out that if we our gut isn’t healthy, our mental health will suffer as well. The probiotics found in yogurt may also be able to alter brain chemistry leading to lower stress levels. You can add unsweetened yogurt to your favorite breakfast berries or smoothie to give your digestive tract the healthy bacteria it needs to function properly.
Lentils are a great plant-based source of protein and fiber. They can also help prevent blood sugar swings, which can stabilize your mood and energy levels throughout the day. Lentils are a match made in heaven with pasta sauce and a tasty addition to salad as well as being an effective protein boost.
Our mood and energy levels improve when we fuel our bodies with quality nutrition and proper food choices. To boost your mood and achieve sustained energy throughout the day, choose whole foods whenever possible and focus on those that promote brain health. Salmon, legumes, foods high in probiotics, and clean protein sources are your best choices. For a healthy treat try this mood-boosting cocoa parfait.
Mood-Boosting Cocoa Parfait
2 cups unsweetened Greek style yogurt
2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
1 cup organic blueberries
2 teaspoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons shredded dark chocolate
Scoop the yogurt into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the raw cocoa powder until smooth.
Spoon one cup of the cocoa yogurt mixture into two serving dishes.
Top the yogurt with a layer of shredded coconut. Add the chia seeds next and then the blueberries. Finish with the shredded dark chocolate.
Serve right away and enjoy.
Rebecca Jacobs is a holistic nutritionist who believes in a non-traditional approach to achieving health goals. She understands that everyone’s journey is different, and she is aware that one size does not fit all. Some of Rebecca’s areas of interest include detoxification, weight loss, kidney health, food sensitivities, and digestive health.
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