Whether you want to enhance a good mood or fend off a bad one, choosing your food carefully can help. To find a food to suit every mood, check out these 10 emotions and their accompanying snacks.
1. “Brain Fog”
If you’re feeling confused, unfocused, forgetful, or like your mind is just running slow, give your brain a boost with a cup of green tea. As around 80 per cent of the brain is made up of water, drinking any fluids will help keep it hydrated and functioning at optimum levels. However, green tea also helps maintain alertness by regulating blood sugar levels, and helps protect the brain and cut risk of dementia.
Whether you’re suffering from a lack of sleep or are generally feeling lethargic, drinking beetroot juice could help revive your energy levels. Beetroot has a high sugar content and many energising nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin C. Furthermore, researchers at the University of Exeter found that drinking beetroot juice could enable people to exercise for up to 16 per cent longer.
If you’ve got a big interview or presentation coming up, try replacing your morning coffee (which can make you jittery) with a calming herbal tea. The calming effects of chamomile are so powerful that they have been found to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate generalised anxiety disorder, so try a cup of chamomile tea to help calm those last-minute nerves.
Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by a busy day or are finding it difficult to wind down after work, try snacking on some blueberries to help cope with stress. Blueberries are high in vitamin C, which can help the body deal with high levels of stress. Also, the superfruit is packed with antioxidants which help to protect your body from its effects.
We all need a confidence boost from time to time, and luckily you can get a helping hand from your diet to relieve shyness. Researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that foods containing tryptophan (an essential amino acid) make people feel more confident. Good sources of tryptophan include meat (particularly chicken), fish such as salmon and tuna, and legumes.
Many people find themselves reaching for chocolate in the face of heartbreak, and this may be no bad thing. Chocolate contains many chemicals to beat the breakup blues, including relaxing magnesium, calming anandamide and mood-boosting phenylethylamine. Try snacking on dark chocolate (in moderation!) for the most health benefits.
Next time you feel a rage coming on, try reaching for some nuts and seeds to help calm you down. Research has shown that Omega-3 deficiency can contribute to aggressive behavior of adult offenders and children with severe behavioural difficulties, while a Japanese study has suggested that zinc may ease anger in women. To up your intake of these nutrients, try opting for walnuts and flaxseeds, which contain both zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Got a big date coming up and want to get in the mood? Try some foods rich in zinc to stimulate the libido and enhance desire. While oysters are a famous aphrodisiac due to their high quantities of zinc, if you’re not a fan of the slimy mollusc, try opting for shellfish, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds instead.
If you’re feeling in need of a happiness boost, try upping your intake of oily fish to boost your brain health and mood. Oily fish is not only rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help ward off depression, negativity and mood swings, but wild salmon and tuna are good sources of vitamin B12, which helps to regulate the mood.
Many people suffer from phobias, ranging from the common (like acrophobia – fear of heights) to the obscure (like arachibutyrophobia). However, it may be that your diet is to blame. Research suggests that folate deficiency may be behind irrational fears and anxiety, so try upping your intake of folate – as well as mood-boosting Omega-3 – by snacking on avocado.
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