What You Eat Can Make You Upbeat!
Were you aware that foods affect your moods, not just your energy and weight? Thomas Edison predicted that “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” We are not quite at that future yet. (Look at any statistics on pharmaceutical sales). However, you and your fellow exercisers can take the lead on the movement and mindset that food is more than fuel It is also medicine! And a powerful one at that.
On the downside, sugary and fatty foods can lead to depression, headaches, sleeplessness, and mood swings. We’ve all heard of blood sugar highs and lows. The reality is that a diet heavy on sweets leads to far more lows than highs. And fatty foods literally slow down brain activity. Fats covered in sugars take a double toll on your mood and brain activity (think of foods like doughnuts, ice cream, cookies--the usual culprits).
On the upside, certain foods and spices can increase your happiness, mental state, and overall mood. If you were going to add one thing to your diet to increase your mood, which do you think would make the most effect?:
1) Dark Chocolate
2) Fruits - any in season
3) Whole grains and beans
If you picked …. 4) Salmon, you are on your way to a better mood already! Omega 3shave fatty acids in them that provide a significant power boostto your brain and mood. Other foods in this top level category include walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds. Take in Omega 3s = feel happier. It’s that simple!
The good news is that whole grains, beans, and saffron also offer mood power punches! The REALLY good news is that dark chocolate--the darker, the better--is good for you as well. Think in terms of an ounce a day however. As for other spices with an anti-depressive benefit, turn to sage, chilies, and cardamon.
Hippocrates is quoted as having said “Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.” Imagine the combined power on your outlook when you eat good mood food AND engage in the other powerful mood medicine, EXERCISE!
On those days you want to Turn It On, do so by combining some of the foods above with a QiDANCE or QIFORZE class. You will be more than ready to experience and contribute positive energy to yourself, your class participants, and the world!
Readers: What foods or activities enhance your mood for longer than the 10 minute candy bar rush?