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Stress, depression and a multitude of other negative emotions can come out when a loved one is deployed. Nothing can stop it, but there are ways to combat it. When care packages, Skyping sessions, or long-distance phone calls don’t do the trick, try more “internal” measures to eat your stress away.
And no, I am not talking about eating a whole box of chocolate or a gallon of your favorite ice cream, but eating foods that are known to improve one’s mood. Though chocolate may sound appetizing, we all know that the remorse afterward is even more painful than the stress needed to be treated!
Foods that improve mood also raise energy levels and reduce symptoms of depression; this is why many care facilities, VA hospitals, and the everyday person have started adding these foods to their meals. Best of all, most of these foods are in your pantry and just a grab away when you need to eat your stress away.
The key to improving mood is to raise the body’s level of serotonin. This natural brain chemical also provides the benefits of regulating appetite, sleep, and memory. Many antidepressant medicines work by modulating serotonin. Certain foods eaten can help the body produce serotonin.
Use these foods to Eat Your Stress Away:
• Whole Grain Pasta and Bread – Carbs are the body’s primary source of energy, so adding healthy amounts of them can improve energy and mood. They release high amounts of serotonin from the brain which causes a life in the mood. And since whole grains stabilize blood sugar, you won’t get the “crash” associated with sugar.
• Fruits and Vegetables – are loaded with vitamins and minerals that increase one’s overall health. Promoting healthy circulation also helps with positive mood changes.
• Nuts – most nuts are rich in selenium, which is a natural antioxidant. This helps fight off free-radicals which cause oxidative stress. The protein in the nuts also helps to stabilize blood sugar.
• Spinach – It is documented that depression sets in when B-vitamin levels are low. Thanks to this green machine, Spinach is loaded with all sorts of B-vitamins which help produce serotonin and reduce stress.
Other Minerals That Improve Mood
Omega-3 fatty acids also can help provide a feeling of well being. Foods such as salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil are just a few sources that contain omega-3s. The body does not make omega-3s so it needs to be obtained from the diet.
A lack of vitamin D can cause also the winter blues. This is commonly seen in the winter when people have less sunlight exposure. This sunshine vitamin is produced when the body is exposed to an adequate amount of sunshine. Other sources are egg yolks, liver oil, fortified soy milk and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines.
There are many healthy food choices that boost energy and serotonin levels. Not only do these foods help the body experience improved mood, they also improve overall health and help to maintain a healthy weight.
My name is Allison and I am a fun-loving, adventurous being. When my job doesn’t have me traveling I normally guest blog, ride my horse, or hang out with friends. I normally write about natural health and natural ways to relieve stress, which include subjects like nutrition, certain exercises, or little DYI projects. I’m starting a blog of my own, it is called Musings of a Curious Mind.