Helen Sanders https://www.healthambition.com/
We’ve all had those mornings right? The ones where you wake up and there’s no other way to describe how you feel but “blah”.
You know you’re not sick, you’re not overly tired and you’re not depressed, yet you just feel…blah!
Although you may not need a course of antibiotics, you could benefit from one type of “medicine” - a better diet!
Centuries ago, using food for medicinal purposes was the norm. Hippocrates - often regarded as the father of western medicine - was a big believer in the idea of healing foods.
Funnily enough, this trend seems to have gone full circle. Nowadays, more and more research is suggesting that so-called “superfoods” can help you heal both body and mind.
Eating the right foods can lift your mood, relieve pain from aching joints and even help ward off cold and flu. So it makes sense that eating a diet of healthy, feel good foods could rid you of those blah mornings for good!
#1 - Fill Your Meals With Foods High in Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
Vitamin B12 and folic acid are essential to the body’s nervous system and can also help improve mood disorders.
B vitamins tend to be one of the most neglected in the American diet, resulting in the highest levels of deficiencies.
Moreover, most people tend to associate anemia with iron deficiency, but vitamin B12 plays a role too. It is responsible for making red blood cells and being deficient in this vitamin can lead to anemia which leaves you feeling excessively tired and run down, nauseous and lightheaded - pretty blah!
#2 - Enjoy Masses of Fruits and Vegetables
Produce tends to be nutritionally dense, meaning you get a lot of essential nutrient for few calories.
They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So it is safe to say you can go to town when it comes to filling your plate with fruits and veggies - the more the merrier!
#3 - Eat Oily Fish Twice a Week
So many of us are completely deficient in omega 3s. So much so, that you will notice many fortified products like cereals carrying the label “with added omega 3” on the shelves of your local supermarket.
Several studies have noted the importance of omega 3 (most notably DHA and EPA) when it comes to mental health and depression. Research has even indicated that supplementation with omega 3s may be useful in the prevention of suicide. One study on patients who had attempted suicide showing that their only common factor was low levels of EPA (source).
As the best source of omega 3s is fresh, oily fish, getting enough of this good fat could be key to lifting your spirits and leaving you feeling awesome!
Bearing some of those tips in mind, let’s take a minute to look at 6 healthy, feel good foods that you can’t afford to miss from your diet.
#1 - Dark Chocolate
Of course for most of us it will come as no surprise that chocolate makes you feel good.
Dark chocolate (the 75% cocoa and above kind) is packed with antioxidants and eating its dark deliciousness can lower stress hormones like cortisol.
Just be sure to keep count of how many calories you’re putting away with this feel good food or you might find your weight starting to creep up.
#2 - Blueberries
This bright and vibrant fruit may be small, but it packs a heck of a healthy punch mainly due to the vast antioxidant level it has to offer.
Oxidative stress on the brain is thought to be one of the leading factors in mental health disorders like depression. So ensuring you get enough antioxidants is key to feeling good.
#3 - Salmon
One of the best sources of omega 3s, salmon is one of the most loved fish dishes.
Although other fish like sardines are also packed with omega 3s, salmon tends to be less “fishy”, meaning that people can handle it’s taste - even if you’re not a huge fish fan.
#4 - Turnip Greens
Most of us cut the leaves off the tops of our turnips and throw them straight in the trash, but you should rethink this as they are actually quite a super green!
Turnip leaves are overflowing in vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, calcium, folate, copper, manganese and dietary fiber.
They can be used in the same way as cabbage or kale, sauteed, steamed or even put fresh in a green smoothie!
#5 - Saffron
This “24 karat spice” is in some parts of the world worth more pound for pound than gold.
Saffron has been shown to reduce the symptoms of PMS like mood swings and depression which let’s face it, we could all use from time to time!
#6 - Coconut
It’s delicious and exotic and is a great alternative to coffee creamer. Coconut doesn’t just make a delicious addition to your homemade Thai curry, the smell of coconut also has some feel good benefits.
If you’re feeling stressed, the smell of coconut can reduce the “flight or flight” response and lower your heart rate faster.