Foods with lasting benefits, a simple way to promote a healthy mindset
The last few weeks have likely stirred up emotions such as anxiety, fear and uncertainty. All of which can be accompanied by unhealthy diet choices. As much as we may find comfort in food, what we put in our mouths can greatly sway our moods.
Luckily, the ability to distinguish between foods with Lasting Benefits and those that provide long lasting mood boosts; is a simple way to promote a healthy mindset while staying home.
Sustain energy levels
These days, we would all like to keep a well-stocked pantry to limit the amount of weekly or monthly grocery runs.
Unfortunately, shelf-stable items promoted as quick-cooking, instant or extra savory are often laden with sodium and simple carbohydrates (also referred to as refined carbohydrates).
Simple carbohydrates are quickly converted into energy for the body, meaning you won’t stay satiated for long. This quick turn around of energy can create a yo-yo effect on our blood sugar. Consequently bolstering feelings of anxiety and mood swings.
Complex carbs—such as whole grains, potatoes, kidney beans and fruit—take longer for the body to break down, thus provide a longer lasting energy boost.
As well, carbs are believed to increase levels of serotonin (the happy chemical) in the brain.
Befriend the good fat
Eaten in moderation, omega-3 fatty acids are great for maintaining stable levels of cholesterol and heart health. Healthy fats also slow the breakdown of carbs to help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.
As a bonus, avocado and fish—foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids—happen to be great sources of folate as well.
Folate helps prevent excess build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients and chemicals (serotonin, dopamine) to the brain.
Looking for a few ideas to incorporate all-natural items into your family’s feel-good diet? Try a avocado on whole wheat toast or oatmeal topped with blueberries for breakfast; pasta salad with colorful and fresh add-ins for lunch, and a crisp green salad with chunks of avocado served with dinner.