What do you do when you feel unusually low? Watch a movie, go out, sleep? Here’s the thing – there’s not much that we FEEL like doing when we are upset or feeling blue so most people resort to the easiest option – FOOD… When feeling low, most people hog on junk food but often, it can do more harm than good. Why? Because, there are many foods that can trigger our emotions and make us feel WORSE than we did as wrong foods can cause reactions such as irritability, lethargy, anger etc. But if you make healthy nutritional choices when you are feeling upset about something, you can bounce back to your happy place in no time. But don’t worry, if there’s bad, there’s good too. There are many foods that can directly influence the brain function and make you feel happy again. Try out these top 5 comfort foods when you’re feeling down for an instant boost.
1| Oatmeal with Nuts and Seeds
Having a bowl of oatmeal is a perfect way to start the day. Oatmeal is super healthy for the heart and many researches indicate that a warm bowl of oatmeal can make you feel good from the inside. Add some nuts and seeds such as almond, peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews that are all high in magnesium. This natural mineral present in nuts and seeds can help in production of ‘serotonin’, a feel-good brain chemical.
Vitamin B and protein in eggs, especially in the yolk can lessen severity of mood swings and depression. Vitamin B can influence the neurotransmitters in the brain by sending signals that improve and balance the mood. Eggs also help in stabilising blood sugar which in turn makes the body and mind feel good overall. Add green veggies to your omelette to make yourself feel fresh and active.
Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acid which is known to improve the nerve function of the brain. Consumption of salmon salad or sandwich can give your mood then boost it needs.
4| Baked Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamin A and C and they are also packed with beta-carotene, all of it combined gives you the feel-good sensation. Sweet potatoes also maintain the blood sugar which can be a huge contribution towards change of mood (in a good way). To enjoy sweet potatoes in the most healthy way, bake them with yogurt, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, some beans and top it off with low fat cheddar.
5| Herbal Tea
It’s not a food perse but a cup of hot herbal tea will do the trick when you are not feeling your best. The amino acid, L-theanine found in tea leaves is known to stimulate alpha brain waves. This can have a calming effect on the body and mind. L-theanine can cross the blood brain barrier as it is absorbed easily.
Try one of these 5 comfort foods when feeling down for any reason. What’s your favourite feel-good comfort foods? Let us know in the comments below.