Fuel Yourself With Good Mood Food

If you’re feeling down, changing your diet may help.

Your belly and your brain may have more in common than you think—both are at risk of getting grumpy when they aren’t fed properly.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish may be associated with a reduced risk of depression. If this menu sounds familiar, it’s because all of the same foods are prominently featured in the Mediterranean diet.

While the study states that more research needs to be done, the connection isn’t as puzzling as it may seem.

From Fuel to Feelings

Your digestive system is designed for more than just digestion. The gastrointestinal tract produces 95% of your serotonin—a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite, and moods.

According to research from Harvard Medical School, the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin is highly influenced by the types of food you eat. For example, a diet high in refined sugars may promote inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that a healthy diet may do the opposite.

So, next time you are tempted to reach for cookies, try some vegetables instead. Your mood may thank you for it.

Fun With Fruit

When it comes to dessert, a good rule of thumb is to limit processed sugary treats to once a week and stick to fruit the rest of the time. With a little creativity, you can make a lighter, fruity dessert that no one in the family will be able to resist. Give these ideas a try.

  • Apple Nachos.Core an apple or two and cut it into rings. Melt some peanut butter in the microwave and drizzle it over the apple rings. Top with a sprinkle of crushed nuts.
  • Fruit Kabobs. Prepare four to five of your favorite fruits by washing them and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Load a piece or two of each type of fruit onto a skewer. Serve two skewers with a spoonful of yogurt for dipping.
  • Melon Hearts. Cut the watermelon into round slabs then divide each slab into four sections. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of each watermelon section. Fill the space with blueberries, and plate it with the heart cut-out, a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprig of mint.



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