What to eat when you're feeling blue: 5 'feel-good' health tips

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by Maya Nahra, Registered Dietitian / Special to azfamily.com

azfamily.com

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 15 at 12:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Prevent the blues by not skipping meals. Ideally, consuming eat four to five smaller, balanced meals throughout the day will balance your blood sugar, hence balancing your mood and avoiding tired and cranky mode.

Limit refined carbohydrates by decreasing the concentrated (and refined) sugar sources in your diet. Rather, and opt-in for fruits, vegetables, and soluble fiber as your carbohydrate sources to better balance blood sugar.

Balance this even further with a healthy protein option such as chicken, fish, nuts or seed. Soluble fiber sources include oats, brown rice, sweet potato, pears, strawberries, beans, and barley. Increase your serotonin, the all-important neurotransmitter responsible for mood.

You can do so by:

  • Increasing your Vitamin D intake through egg yolks, sunshine, and supplements.
  • Choosing dark, fair trade chocolate without additives or excess sugar) will provide an instant boost in in concentration and mood as blood flow to the brain increases helping you feel vibrant and energized.
  • Eat more asparagus, a plant based source of tryptophan which creates serotonin in the body.

Increase Omega-3 fatty acids as they boost the mental state in with those with depression. Foods include walnuts, cold water, wild caught fish, and flaxseeds.

Increase B6 and folic acid, two nutrients found to be lacking in those with depression. Food sources include eggs, lean beef, shellfish, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, oranges, broccoli, and beets. Always remember, if the blue state gets too blue, be sure to consult your physician.

For more nutrition information, including an 82 real-food snack list, check out at www.MayaNahra.com.

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