Of course, eating is great fun. But food can make you happy in other ways too. Recent research has revealed:
1. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to mood swings, depression, and insomnia. Conversely, high intake of nutrient-dense foods, especially vegetables, has been shown to consistently improve moods.
2. Intake of nuts supports healthy brain and nervous-system function.
3. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids can cause depression. Sufficient intake of essential fatty acids has been shown in numerous studies to be an excellent, long-term boost to healthy moods.
4. Intake of B vitamins boosts our moods.
5. Intake of vitamin D improves memory and moods.
The great news is that you can get all of these nutrients with a simple diet based on whole foods. Here’s what I recommend:
1. Eat some grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, free-range poultry, or game meat at most meals. Eggs from free-range chickens is another great option. If you don’t eat meat, make sure to include legumes like all kinds of beans and lentils in your diet regularly.
2. Eat vegetables at most meals and eat a lot of vegetables. Salads, steamed vegetables, grilled vegetables, roasted vegetables, stir-fried vegetables, and sautéed vegetables are all great options.
3. Have some fruit each day. Fruit is great after meal or as a snack.
4. Have some nuts (like almonds or walnuts) and/or seeds (like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds) each day. A handful with some fruit makes a great snack. Nuts and seeds also add great crunch to salads.
Here’s a great mood-boosting salad that will feed several people depending on appetites:
Hearty Summer Salad
• 1 head green-leaf lettuce
• 1 head red-leaf lettuce
• 1 cucumber, trimmed and chopped
• 1 tomato, trimmed and chopped
• 1 yellow bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
• 1 cup goat cheese
• 1 can (15 ounces) white beans
• ½ cup sunflower seeds
• ½ cup pine nuts
• 16 ounces previously cooked grilled chicken, chopped
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl or serving bowl.
Remember your mantra for today: NOURISHING MOVEMENT, NOURISHING FOOD, NOURISHING LIFE.