September 15, 2011

"Happy Foods" that won't make you fat---I'M IN!

I found an article in my local newspaper this morning.

"Happy Foods that won't make you gain weight."

They had me at "hello"...I mean, really. 

"Happy" and "weight" loss.  Words to my ears.

Foods that can boost your mood without blowing your diet---I'm IN!

#1 Popcorn
Mood booster:  Tryptophan
 Aids the body's production of serotonin, a tranquility-inducing brain chemical.  A study published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia found that foods containing tryptophan, like mustard greens, pumpkin seeds and bananas, offer mood-elevating effects. Tryptophan levels are often low in people suffering from depression, although researchers are unclear as to whether the relationship is a cause or a consequence of the condition.
(Tryptophan is also found in turkey but is more effective in aiding the above chemical production when consumed with carbohydrates instead of protein)

#2 Walnuts
Mood booster:  Alpha-linolenic acid
The article says that a new study of 55,000 women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid in plant foods like walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseed, is the real star in alleviating depression symptoms.  In the 10-year study, Harvard University researchers found that the risk of depression was lower among women who consumed more ALA, a compound previously thought to have few health benefits.

#3 Cottage cheese
Mood booster:  Tyrosine
Low-fat sources of protein, like egg whites and low-fat cottage cheese, are packed with tyrosine, an amino acid that aid in the brain's production of norepinephrine and dopamine, two chemicals that influence motivation and reaction time.

#4  Sunflower seeds
Mood booster: Selenium
A Nutritional Neuroscience review of five studies on selenium and depression linked deficiencies in the mineral to poorer mood.  Another study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine suggests that selenium can help prevent postpartum depression. When 44 postpartum women received 100 mcg of selenium daily, they scored lower on a postnatal depression scale.

#5 Lentils
Mood booster: Folate
A study pubklished in the Journal of Nutrition found that of the 2,692 middle-aged Finnish men int he study, those whose diets contained the least folate were 67% more likely to suffer from depression.  Research suggests that low levels of the B vitamin impair the metabolism of neurotransmitters, leaving your brain short on serotonin and dopamine.
(AND YOU ALL KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT FOLATE....if not, you can read it here.) 

#6 Avocado
Mood booster: Oleic acid
Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and avocados. don't just keep the belly fat at bay.  They also can ward off a bad mood.  Oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, increases the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain, keeping you calm. In a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Nivarra in Spain found that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, nuts, fish and olive oil were 30 percent less likely to become depressed.

#7  Citrus fruit
Mood booster:  Vitamin C
In a study conducted by doctors at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and published in the journal Nutrition, researchers found that when vitamin C-deficient hospital patients were supplemented with 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily for 1 week they experienced a 34 percent reduction in mood disturbance. Even the smell of citrus can put you in a better state of mind. When participants in an Ohio State University study smelled lemons, they reported greater improvements in mood and had higher levels of norepinephrine compared with when they sniffed lavender or unscented water.

#8  Low-fat milk
Mood boosters: Vitamin D, calcium, whey protein
An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that alpha-lactalbumin, a component of whey protein, improves cognitive performance in stress-prone individuals by increasing levels of tryptophan and serotonin in the brain.

The mood booster: Magnesium
This portable treat makes a great 100-calorie snack when you're craving something sweet. Bananas are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps the brain deal with stress and may help boost mood, too. In a study of 5,700 adults published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, researchers linked higher levels of anxiety and depression to study participants with lower magnesium intake. Bananas are also packed with potassium, which helps boost alertness, tryptophan, an amino acid that aids the body in producing mood-boosting serotonin and mood-stabilizing vitamin B6.
You can read the whole article here....although I published most of it here.

Interesting information, I thought.  There wasn't one food here that I was like...."huh?  are you kidding me?"  It all seemed to make sense. 

I'm a pretty firm believer that the raw-er, the more natural, the more...oh no...I'm gonna say food is (oh now, she said the "O" word) the better it is for you.

Our world was a much more mentally stable place before we started adding fast food and preservatives into our diets.

I'm all for it (especially since I am no longer drug induced level).  

How about you?  What do you think?

Side note:  We, Mormons, are taught to stick to what we call the "Word of Wisdom".  It's a law of physical and spiritual health revealed by the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1833.  Yeah...most people know Mormons don't drink coffee or tea or alcohol (or at least we are taught not to)...that all comes from this revelation, as well as guidance on the use of meat, grains, herbs, and other things the Lord has put on the earth for our use. We are promised wonderful blessings for sticking to this "law".  You can click on the link above and/or here for more information.

P.S. Leave a comment! I love to hear from you! Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


Celeste said...

That's awesome! I never thought I'd be this way but my sister Cynthia has helped me see that raw and Yes Organic ;) is so good for you! I have changed my diet a lot. (Except for when Ranch Corn Nuts are on clearance for $1, dang I wish I didn't eat the first two bags so fast. I better wait a day or two to eat the third one ;)

Me said...

Interesting. You just listed ALL of my staple foods. I'm not a health nut, I just like them. But admittedly, the cheesy French fries I just ate made me feel pretty happy too:)

Ariane said...

Thank you so much for this information. It gave me a good resource for my young womens activity this Wednesday. Also, I just want to tell you how I love to see you leave comments on others blogs and share with others your testimony and knowledge of our Heavenly Father and Savior. How blessed we are to have the understanding and knowledge that we are not alone in our trials(including depression). We have a Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ who love each and everyone of us unconditionally. I don't know how I would have made it through the past two years of my life without that understanding. Although at times we might feel alone or abandoned, when we allow them to the trials of this life can refine us and help us to become a better, more pure, more Christ-like person. That is where we find happiness, and that is ultimately what life is about. How grateful I am for that knowledge. Thanks for all that you do!

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