Whether you are struggling for energy or have the mid afternoon blues, your first thought may be to snack on a candy bar. While there are a number of health benefits associated with good quality chocolate, a sugary candy bar will only provide a temporary boost to your mood, with a distinct lull later. However, there are a number of healthier options including some amazing super foods. Many of these super foods are linked to a number of health benefits including natural mood boosting. Super foods are defined as foods which contain a very high level of nutritional benefit when compared to how many calories it contains. By choosing a super food snack, you can boost your mood without compromising on your healthy eating plans.
Although technically not a snack, incorporating asparagus into your lunch could provide you with a great mid afternoon mood boost. Asparagus contains high levels of Iron, Folate and Vitamins A, C and K. It also contains a considerable amount of B Vitamins which assist the body in metabolizing sugars and starches. This can help to optimize your blood sugar levels and negate the low feeling of after lunch fatigue.
Bananas are the perfect naturally pre packaged super food. This makes them perfect for keeping in your lunch box or office drawer. The high level of potassium in a banana helps to control your blood pressure. Bananas also provides an antacid like effect which can provide protection from stomach ulcers.
The blueberry is the ultimate in super fruits. They contain the highest amounts of antioxidants in any food group. Blueberries have been linked to improved nervous system function, enhanced brain health, reduced risk of developing certain forms of cancer and maintenance of blood sugar level balance. In order to gain the maximum benefit from blueberries, they should be eaten fresh and raw. So, while that blueberry muffin may look tempting, you will get a far better mood boost from a handful of raw berries.
Many people have begun to incorporate coconut oil into their diet for its considerable health benefits. However, the milk and flesh of a coconut is also filled with amazing benefits. Coconut can help fight infection, stabilize glucose levels, boost memory, regulate hormone balance and improve your digestion. This can provide an overall boost in your mood.
Although goji berries are still relatively new in the western world, they have been used in Asia for thousands of years. These little red berries contain a considerable amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and amino acids. Research has shown that goji berries can help to regulate the amount of the hormone cortisol which is released in response to stress. This can help you to feel calmer, even if you are having a particularly stressful afternoon.
Grapes have been a traditional gift for those in hospital for a reason. They are attributed with a low GI value. This helps to regulate insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. Grapes can also improve the immune and nervous systems, which are often responsible for low mood. Recent research has also linked grapes with improved brain function and cognitive response.
These seeds make an excellent snack. They are packed with vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidant properties. Sunflower seeds have been linked to the inhibition of cancer cells, improved cell function and lowered cholesterol. In addition sunflower seeds also have significant levels of magnesium, which is linked to calmer nerves and muscles. This makes them a perfect antidote to tension headaches, low mood and stress.
Tomatoes are a great super fruit. They contain vitamin A, C and K but also contain the antioxidant lycopene. This antioxidant has been linked to a number of cardiovascular and neurological benefits. There has also been research which suggests that tomatoes can decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and improve brain function. However, you need not choose just red tomatoes, yellow and orange varieties provide similar benefits.
These great nuts contain potassium, Vitamin E and omega 3 oils. Research has shown that consuming walnuts can improve cardiovascular health and have a positive impact on mood and cognitive function.
All of these super foods can be a great way to boost your mood naturally. However, if the snack machine is still calling, remember to choose a dark chocolate bar. Dark chocolate containing a high percentage of cocoa solids, contains phenylethylamine. This promotes the production of “feel good” endorphin’s within the brain. This can immediately boost your mood. Additionally, better quality dark chocolate contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It may also contain theobromide, which is linked to harder tooth enamel, to provide protection against cavities.
Super foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutritional benefits, which ensures that they are a healthy snack or a sensible component of a meal. Whether you have a physically demanding job or a fairly static office role sat at a desk, it is likely that at times of the day, you feel your mood and energy dropping. However, by adding some super foods into your diet or keeping them ready as a pick me up snack, you are sure to find your mood naturally lifted. These foods can assist you when you have a lull in your mood, leaving you more ably equipped to deal with every day stress. Even adding in one or two super foods can boost your mood and motivation to help you through your full day, leaving you plenty of energy for your visit to the gym, exercise routine or a session of socializing.