Are you feeling tired? Stressed? Just plain cranky? Maybe it's not you... maybe it's what you are (or aren't!) eating. We've got a few tips to help you kick those moody blues. Chow down and cheer up!
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS?
Ever have those days when you can't concentrate and your mind feels like a bowl of pudding? It might be time for some protein. Foods rich in protein -- like cheese, soy products, and lean meats -- will give your brain a little boost. So if you're feeling a bit foggy, chew on some light string cheese, a veggie burger, or some lean skinless chicken or turkey breast. Bonus alert: Since protein takes more energy to digest than fat, it's got some calorie-burning properties. YAY!
When we feel grumpy, chocolate always makes us feel better. Not just because it's insanely delicious (that helps), but also because the fat, sugar, and tryptophan in chocolate have all been linked to raising serotonin and endorphin levels in your brain, which makes you feel happy. (P.S. Dark chocolate is good for your heart, too.) Need a lift but (gasp!) not big on chocolate? No worries. Strawberries and salmon are packed with folate, which kicks up the serotonin and can keep depression away. That must be why everyone loves strawberries!
If mood swings are your problem, the solution might be as easy as drinking more water. Seriously. Dehydration can play a BIG part in emotional stability. If you don't get the recommended 8 - 10 glasses of water a day, you might find yourself laughing, then crying, and then laughing again in a matter of minutes. Not only will water even out your mood, but it's also great for your skin, good for curbing hunger, and SO important to your general well-being.
On The HG Menu: Water. No recipe required.
JUST CHILL OUT
Stressed? Nervous? Uneasy? Have a glass of calcium-fortified skim milk, some almonds, or even some Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze! All are rich in calcium, which is excellent for reducing anxiety and making you feel relaxed and calm. (FYI, almonds are a great all-around power-food. Keep 100-cal packs of them on hand!) Feeling angry? Foods high in the soluble fiber pectin (like apples, grapefruit, and carrots) could help. When you get mad, your heart rate and blood pressure increase -- the pectin helps your system return to normal.
Cold season usually inspires a rush for immune-system supplements, but you may want to consider hitting the produce department. Most of us know about vitamin C's cold-fighting properties, but orange juice isn't the only way to go. Garlic is also great for your immune system -- it contains vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and more. In addition to cold prevention, the stinky herb has also been linked to lowered blood pressure and bad cholesterol, an increase in good cholesterol, and reduced risk of cancer (thanks to those antioxidants!). Of course, if you don't feel like smelling insanely garlicky, you can just take a supplement.
CHEW ON THIS: Passover begins next week. Click & scroll here for some tips on making low-fat matzo brie. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, that stuff ROCKS, people!
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*The Points® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the Points® registered trademark.
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