Wow…that was some game the other night! A halftime show featuring…drones! And oh yes, a certain superstar who jumped off the roof into the stadium and even more amazingly…DIDN’T LIP-SYNC!! Pretty impressive. I, however, missed the beer commercials with the cute puppies so I’m making up for it here. If you’re feeling depressed about the outcome of the game and/or the fact that we have 5 more weeks until spring, I’m here to help: By making a few simple adjustments to your diet, you can elevate your mood and boost your metabolism. The benefits are potentially huge! Maintaining a good mood will help you stick to a healthy diet, be more productive, and increase your self-esteem. Keeping in mind that we are a Complete Health Dentistry practice, here are seven simple tips to help you optimize your diet to boost mood and metabolism.
- Resist Skipping Meals – Skipping or missing a meal can cause a dip in your blood sugar, leading to crankiness and lethargy. Maintain your blood sugar levels, and your energy by eating small amounts of food throughout the day. You might even prefer eating six smaller meals rather than three large ones.
- Stay Hydrated – This is a biggie. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Be sure to drink (water, not beer) throughout the day and don’t rely on thirst alone to remind you to have another glass of water. Some experts say the average person needs about eight glasses of water daily, and that may be hard to accomplish without reminders.
- Think Moderation, Especially for Low-Nutrient Foods – Avoid a lot of caffeine, refined carbohydrates (sugar), alcohol, salt, and other food additives. Any of these, especially in large amounts, can decrease your metabolic efficiency. Which basically means this: TOO MANY CARBS = RUSH =>CRASH/FATIGUE. In addition, excess salt can disrupt your fluid balance, changing your daily water needs, not to mention increasing health risks like high blood pressure.
- Strive for Balance in the Food You Eat – In general, a healthy diet includes a mix of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and some protien, but each person has inidivudaul needs based on age, sex, physical activity level, body size, and stress factors. You can consult with a nutritionist to determine the best combination for you to help you find the right balance.
- Get a Boost From “Good Mood” Food – While research about the mood- and metabolism-boosting qualities of certain foods is mixed, foods high in the amino acid tryptophan have been found to increase seratonin levels in the brain, contributing to feelings of optimism and calm. Bananas, avocados, dried apricots, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds fall into this category. Foods rich in Omega-3 fats can help help elevate mood and reduce anxiety and depression (salmon, mackerel, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.)
- Keep a Food Diary – Some foods can have the opposite effect of tryptophan and instead trigger negative changes in mood and cause irritability or headaches. A food diary can help. If you think a particular food might be affecting your mood, record everything you eat each day and how you feel before and after every meal. After two weeks, review your entries to see if any foods line up with specific moods either good or bad.
- Exercise Exercise Exercise – So important! Now we’re not talking about running marathons here. But a moderate and regular exercise routine will keep your body working most effectively and will augment both your mood and metabolism.
I hope this helps you get through the rest of the winter. The key message is balance. A variety of healthy foods with a dose of exercise will help you maintain your energy, speed up your metabolism, and boost your mood.
Until next time!
(reprinted in part from jessicafaissal.com/health-articles-archive)
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