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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Can Food Boost Energy and Mood?


It's possible. While it's too soon to say, "an apple a day keeps the doldrums (feeling low & depressed) away," Researchers are studying the links between what we eat and how we feel. There is evidence that changing your diet can alter your metabolism and brain chemistry, ultimately affecting your energy level and mood.

Foods can boost energy in three ways: by providing sufficient calories, by delivering stimulants like caffeine, and by increasing the metabolism to burn fuel more efficiently. As for mood, the best foods are those that stabilize blood sugar and trigger feel-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin.


 Smart Carbs





Carbs may be the foe of fad diets, but they're vital for boosting energy and mood. They are the body's preferred source of fuel, plus they raise serotonin levels. The key is to avoid sweets, which cause blood sugar to spike and drop rapidly, leading to fatigue and moodiness. Instead, turn to whole grains like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and cereal. The body absorbs whole grains more slowly, keeping blood sugar and energy levels stable.
 

Cashews, Almonds, and Hazelnuts





These nuts are rich in protein and magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in converting sugar into energy. Being low on magnesium can drain your energy. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, particularly bran cereals, and some fish, including halibut.


Brazil Nuts







Add Brazil nuts to the mix for selenium, a mineral that may be a natural mood booster. Studies have linked low selenium to poorer moods. Smaller amounts of selenium are also found in meats, seafood, beans, and whole grains. Don't overdo it: Too much selenium is harmful. A new study shows that taking too much selenium could adversely affect the heart by raising LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels. Other studies have shown that high levels of selenium increase the risk of type 2 Diabetes and open angle glaucoma.


Lean Meats






Lean pork, lean beef, skinless chicken, and turkey are sources of protein that include the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine boosts levels of two brain chemicals (dopamine and norepinephrine) that can help you feel more alert and focused. Meats also contain vitamin B-12, which may help ease insomnia and depression.


Salmon







Fatty fish, such as salmon, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against depression and be good for heart health. Besides fish, sources of omega-3 include nuts and dark green leafy vegetables.
 

Leafy Greens





 
Folate is another nutrient that may lower the risk of depression. Find it in leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and citrus fruits.


Fiber

 

Fiber helps keep your energy steady throughout the day. Many people don't get enough fiber. You can fix that by eating more beans, whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


Water


 

Staying hydrated can help you avoid getting tired. Some studies suggest even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism and sap your energy. The solution is simple -- drink plenty of water or other unsweetened beverages like clear soups, thin buttermilk, kanjis, lime juice etc. throughout the day.

 

Coffee


 

Coffee is one of the world's most popular pick-me-ups, and it works at least in the short-term. Caffeine steps up the body's metabolism, temporarily improving mental focus and energy. Frequent mini-servings will keep you alert and focused longer than one large dose. Just beware of drinking so much coffee that you can't sleep at night -- losing sleep won't help your energy!

 

Tea

You can also get caffeine from tea. Studies show that it may improve alertness, reaction time, and memory. And having a cup of tea is a time-honored tradition, which may take the edge off your stress.

Dark Chocolate


  

Chocoholics, good news: A little bit of dark chocolate can boost your energy and mood. That's because of the caffeine in chocolate, along with another stimulant called theobromine.

 

Breakfast


 

 Breakfast is a gold mine if you want more energy. Studies show that people who eat breakfast every morning also have a better mood throughout the day. The best breakfasts deliver plenty of fiber and nutrients through whole-grain carbs, good fats, and some type of lean protein. And of course, they taste good!

 

Frequent Meals

Here's another way to keep your energy, mood, and blood sugar steady: Eat small meals and snacks every three to four hours, rather than a few large meals. Some options: a dash of peanut butter on whole-grain crackers, whole wheat bread vegetable sandwich, or whole-grain cereal with milk or a bowl of cut mix fruits or a plate of salad.

 

Exercise for Energy


 

 Besides diet, exercise is another way to boost energy and mood. Even a single 15-minute walk can be energizing, and if you're more active, you'll get more benefits. Studies show that regular exercise may help ease depression and trigger other changes in your body that give you more energy all day long.

 

Conclusion:  Incorporate these food stuffs and healthy life-style to keep away from depression! Stay Active, Eat Healthy & Keep your Metabolism running and spirits high !!!

 

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