When many people feel stressed or depressed, they eat comfort foods. The quick fix is to grab a sugary food or a carb-heavy food like pasta or bread that boost those feel good centers of our brains.
David Ludwig of Harvard University points out that eating such foods can create a “vicious cycle.” “Those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses…our body chemistry can very much affect how stress gets to us.”
So what to eat? Your best choices when combating stress or dealing with depression are foods rich in Omega-3s like whole eggs, dark leafy vegetables like kale, fatty fishes like salmon or tuna, flaxseed and dark chocolate.
Researcher Joe Hibbeln of the National Institute of Health states, “There’s a very strong connection between what you eat and your mood.” After two decades of research, Hibbeln found a direct link between emotional health and the consumption of fatty fishes high in Omega-3. Hibbeln cites numerous studies that show how omega-3s protect the brain’s neurons and can help heal the damage done by chronic stress. Omega-3s appear to help in combating chronic depression while promoting pro-social behavior. If you are not a fan of fatty fishes like salmon, tuna or sardines, consider eating flaxseed or chia seeds.
Psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, author of The Happiness Diet, says that his favorite stress-busting breakfast is scrambled eggs mixed with kale and pumpkin seeds. The eggs provide Vitamin B and protein, the kale provides Vitamins A and K as well as potassium while the pumpkin seeds provide magnesium and zinc. Magnesium helps fend off anxiety while zinc boosts the immune system. For dessert, Ramsey recommends dark chocolate as cocoa flavanols boost mood, increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
Beat the summertime blues by staying well hydrated, eating a well rounded diet including these Omega 3 foods and enjoying the bounty of local fresh fruits and veggies found weekly at our Certified Farmers’ Markets. For fun, quick and fresh recipe ideas visit ShareKitchen’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/sharekitchen.