How to Food-Hack Your Way to a Feel-Good Day
Food-Hack: Could the cause of your low mood be something you ate? Or more importantly, something you did not eat?
Harvard Health Publishing has a lot to say about the connection between foods and moods. In a recent article, they noted how serotonin is largely produced in your digestive system. And for those who need a reminder, serotonin is that brain chemical that triggers feelings of wellness. So what you take in not only shows on your waistline but also plays a role in your emotions and energy levels for the day.
In some instances, the side effects of certain health conditions create negative feelings. In such cases, eating right can help speed recovery. So while food might not be a direct answer to fixing a poor mood, it does play a role in pulling you out of a slump.
For example, say a prostate problem is hampering your ability to sleep through the night. Interrupted sleep can wreak havoc on your emotional stability throughout the day. But by taking a supplement, such as prostagenix, you could be sleeping better and fixing any crankiness from lack of sleep.
Nutrition science consistently shows us the connection between what we eat and how our brain responds and causes us to feel. With that in mind, want a food plan for that time you’re feeling blah? Here are some of the best combinations that will have you hacking your way to a fabulous day.
Get your fill of fermented foods!
Foods that have been through a fermenting process are rich in probiotics. Probiotic-rich foods are foods that provide good bacteria to your gut. Your gut needs good bacteria to stay healthy and create serotonin. So what foods fall into the probiotic-rich category?
Go shopping for yogurt, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Pickles that are fermented in saltwater also contain probiotic bacteria. But this is not the case for pickles pickled in vinegar.
How to incorporate these foods into your day’s meals? Start your day with a yogurt-based breakfast. Or make a fruit smoothie with a yogurt base. For lunch, add some pickles or sauerkraut to your sandwich.
Kombucha is a refreshing drink to help you over that mid-afternoon energy low. And add some miso soup to your dinner menu. Filling up on soup will help you feel full and curb overeating tendencies.
Tryptophan is more than just a mythical cause of your after turkey nap.
Tryptophan is often blamed for that slump you feel after eating the Thanksgiving Turkey. When in fact, it is really overeating that causes your body to shut down and need a little nap to give your digestive system time to process all that food.
What tryptophan really does is, in fact, a lot of good news.
Tryptophan helps with keeping your moods and emotions stable. It does this by aiding your body’s production of serotonin. One Psychology Today article goes so far as to say that without tryptophan, the body would not be able to produce serotonin. It is called serotonin’s key ingredient. So where, outside of the turkey, can we find this amino acid?
Many natural sources that are high in protein have high levels of tryptophan. Cottage cheese, red meat, tofu, salmon, eggs, fish, almonds, and chickpeas. For a non-protein source of this acid, look to pineapple.
Because protein should be a part of a healthy diet, chances are you are going to be encountering this amino acid in some way today. But if you want to be a little more intentional about adding it to your meal plans, choose lean meat or fish over anything deep-fried. You will be doing your heart a favor along with elevating your mood.
Fish oil, a depression-fighting food.
Fish oil could be the key to curbing that feeling of depression from taking root. In fact, many healthy oils and fats have this effect on the brain. For example, extra virgin olive oil, certain nuts, and the oil from some fish. Any fats that have Omega-3 acids make it easier for the brain’s feel-good chemicals to pass through its nervous system.
Adding Omega-3 acids into your day is simple enough to achieve. Nuts are a great snack and a much better alternative to chips or other highly processed junk food. Have them on hand to combat a junk food craving. Add fish to your diet twice a week. And consider using olive oil as a dressing for your salads.