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Oh, wouldn’t it be great if you could gauge the healthiness and ability to improve your mood of any specific food, based solely on the way it tasted? You could load up on salt-caramel drizzled cheesecake anytime you wanted to, and experience a wonderfully good feeling that would give you increased energy and a song in your heart that would last for hours. Whenever you needed a little pick-me-up, you could munch down a pound of bacon and go strong and hard for the rest of the day. Rich, thick sauces, cheeses, ice creams and potato chips would be among the foods your doctor might suggest for the most healthful living. OK, time to stop this fantasy, as it is not gonna happen. Sadly, it’s not our lying taste buds upon which we can depend for our best feeling eating aftermath–no, when it comes to the best foods to eat for any purpose, from mood boosting to health improving, the right and wrong is to be learned and adhered to–from within our minds. And often, something called willpower will be required.
Goodness That Grows on You
The most difficult aspect to eating for an improved mood occurs only momentarily at the start of the mission, as once you begin to feel the remarkable difference, experiencing greater peace of mind and even able to think your way through every challenge with more clarity, you’ll begin to literally crave the foods that got you there. And try to avoid telling yourself things like “I can never eat that fill in the blank again,” instead, saying something along the lines of “That’s not really what I want right now/I believe I’ll have one of these (mood-boosting alternative) instead.” When you approach improved eating for your mood by avoiding specific foods, look for substitutions that will somewhat resemble the level of satisfaction you get from the mood-killer option.
Some Top Mood-Killer Foods to Avoid:
- Added and Refined Sugar, and High Fructose Corn Syrup. Naturally occurring sugar is processed differently by the body than any added sugars and sweeteners. Generally, ingredients ending in “ose” are sugar. Any good feeling you get while chewing and swallowing these foods quickly dissipates and then you experience the adverse effects–plus you must come to terms with the fact that you just consumed a lot of empty calories. Studies have linked the consumption of refined sugar to binge eating, and many life-shortening diseases.
- Happy Meals–well not to single out any one particular fast food, but to share that all of them are, in actuality, unhappy meals, and to be avoided. They’re chock-full of calories, hidden saturated fats, sugars and chemicals you would rather not know about. No, there’s nothing happy about how you feel after having one of the leading fast fooderie specials.
- Soda: Statistics reveal that on average, a typical American will consume a total of 600 sodas during a year’s time. You might get an initial sugar rush, but what goes up must come down. Empty calories–and a lot of them. Try drinking more water.
- Margarine: At one time, margarine was believed to be a healthier choice than butter, however over time, the ingredients used in manufacturing margarine–like industrial fats– have been found to be a major source of inflammation, with high levels of omega-6 fatty acids being linked to unhealthy insulin levels. Margarine is a downer, when it comes to how eating it affects your mood–as is any form of artificially-manufactured food from fake ingredients. Unprocessable ingredients send your body into a tailspin of confusion and distress.
- Processed Pumpkin Seeds: Oh, this one’s difficult to hear, as we thought we were eating healthy whenever we were chomping down on these little natural goodies. Commercially prepared pumpkin seeds are typically coated in potassium bromate–a preservative that prevents your thyroid from being able to absorb iodine. A healthy thyroid is critical to maintaining a good mood, and an insufficient iodine level will prevent the thyroid from its proper function. In the evaluation process to diagnose clinical depression, the functionality of the thyroid is first determined, to rule out malfunction as the source of atypical sadness. The ones you can make at home, unfortunately, are nothing like the commercial kind–are messy and a lot of work, too.
- Potato Chips: Here, we find a tad of potato and a lot of mood-altering omega-6 fatty acids. These actually cancel out the mood-enhancing benefits of omega-3 fatty acids present. When potatoes are fried, acrylamide is produced within them, and this is a known carcinogen.