Thursday, June 16, 2011

Foods that Boost Your Mood and Energy

Everybody suffers from bad mood or mild depression sometimes but to get out of it is difficult. There are several natural ways to boost mood including medication. One of the simplest ways to boost your mood is with foods. Foods have direct or indirect effect on mood. By consuming correct foods you can improve your mood as well as energy levels. Foods contain certain chemicals which release Serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical and thereby boost mood. The best foods that boost mood are the foods which stabilize blood sugar and Serotonin. Refer the article to know the foods that boost mood as well as energy levels.

Foods that Lift Mood and Energy:

Spanish Shrimp and Farfalle

Spanish shrimp and farfalle have omega-3 fatty acids in high amount because of shrimp. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease depression by increasing the serotonin levels. Shrimp is also rich in Tryptophan which increases the serotonin levels and thereby lifts up the mood. Spanish shrimp and farfalle is a spicy dish so it will wow your taste buds. This dish contains 417 calories. To make this salad, cook farfalle and mix shrimp with ground cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook shrimp in olive oil till it becomes pink. After that cook onion, dried thyme and ground cinnamon in olive oil. Add orange juice, vinegar, tomatoes and olives as well as cook till thickened. Add shrimp and toss with farfalle & orange zest.

Salmon Salad with Vinaigrette

Salmon salad with vinaigrette contain high amount of omega-3 fatty acids due to salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids protect us from depression. Omega-3 fats are most important element of brain cell membranes as well as keep the brain signals moving smoothly. Selenium is also contained in this salad due to salmon and eggs. Low amount of selenium leads to anxiety and unexplained irritability. This salad contains 6 gm monounsaturated fat and 271 calories. To make this salad, cook green beans for 2 mins in boiling water and in a small bowl mix vinegar, mustard, olive oil, minced shallots, salt and pepper. Cook salmon fillets on the preheated grill for 8 mins. Place greens in bowl and top with sweet onion, beans and egg slices. Then top with salmon and sprinkle dressing.

Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Deep dark chocolate biscotti are a great way to boost mood. Chocolate have compounds like theobromine and phenylethyamine which help to boost mood. As per study, when highly stressed people consumed 1.4 ounces dark chocolate daily for 2 weeks decreased stress hormone, cortisol. When you consume chocolate the body release endorphins, feel good hormones. But be sure that eating lots of chocolate can result in weight gain. Deep dark chocolate biscotti contain 94 calories. To make deep dark chocolate biscotti, take a bowl and add granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, egg whites & egg. Beat them with mixer and add vanilla. Add flaxseed, flour, soda & salt to above mixture and mix well. Add chocolate & almonds and make rolls of the dough. Arrange rolls on a baking sheet and pat to a 1 inch thickness. Bake them in preheat oven at 350° for 28 minutes. After 10 mins remove rolls from oven and cut them diagonally. Put the pieces on baking sheet and bake at 325° for 7 mins.

Flaxseed Falafel Sandwich

Flaxseed falafel sandwich merges the delicious flavor of Middle East. This sandwich is rich in vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, and tryptophan as it contains flaxseeds. Omega-3 acids and tryptophan both help to boost the mood when a person is experiencing severe stress or depression. This sandwich contains 507 calories. To make this sandwich Blend flaxseed (finely) and chickpeas, garlic & reserved liquid (coarsely) in blender separately. Add flaxseed, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, salt, coriander, red pepper to chickpeas mixture and pulse again. Make patties of chickpea mixture and dip egg white; dredge in breadcrumbs & flaxseed mixture. Cook patties for 5 mins. Line pita with lettuce leaf and fill pita half with patty and Mediterranean Chopped Salad as well as top yogurt.

Gingery Lentil Soup

Lentils are loaded with folate which is very important nutrient to improve the brain functions and nervous system. Lentils are also rich in fibre and protein. Lack of folate cause depression and as per study 38% depressed women are deficient in folate. 1 cup Gingery lentil soup provides nearly 25% of the recommended daily allowance of folate. This soup contains 253 calories. To make this soup, cook carrot & onion in a pan for 3 mins and add ginger & garlic. Cook 1 min and add curry, salt & pepper (cook 30 sec). Add diluted broth & lentils and bring to a boil. Then cook 20-25 mins by covering and add tomatoes (cook 5 mins).

Triple Bean Salad

Beans contain vitamin B12, folic acid, selenium and Tryptophan in high amount. All these nutrients improve the mood of a person. Beans also contain iron, zinc and magnesium. Low amount of selenium causes anxiety & unexplained irritability while low amount of folic acid cause depression. 38% depressed women are lacking in folate according to a study. This triple bean salad will protect from free-radical damage as well as decrease inflammation. 128 calories are contained in this salad. To make this salad mix green onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and black beans in big bowl. Then add oil, vinegar, juice, pepper and salt.

Grilled Scallops with Lemon Chickpea Salad

This dish provides vitamin B6, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. All these nutrients help to boost mood by releasing endorphins, feel good hormones. This salad also provides protein, vitamin B12 and fibre. Grilled scallops with lemon chickpea salad contain 170 calories. To make this dish mix chickpeas, celery, garlic, parsley, lemon juice & oil. Sprinkle lemon juice and oil on scallops as well as add salt & pepper. Grill scallops on preheated grill 2-3 mins per side. Add lemon juice & olive oil to spinach as well as top it with chickpea mixture & scallops.

Asparagus with Poached Egg and Parmesan

Eggs contain tryptophan, selenium, vitamin D and choline which are mood enhancer. There are very few foods that have vitamin D. Choline is contained in the yolk of egg. Low amount of choline can cause anxiety. Eggs are also great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. 1 boiled egg provides over 20% daily recommended value of tryptophan. 256 calories are contained in this dish. To make asparagus with poached egg and parmesan, bring the water to boil by adding vinegar and salt. Break the eggs in separate paper cups and gradually pour every egg into water. Cook 2 mins and turn off the heat as well as remove egg with slotted spoon. Cook asparagus by adding it to boiling water in a separate pan. Remove them and keep aside. Cook garlic in pan for 1 min and turn off the heat. Add butter, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, asparagus & parmesan and mix well. Toss them with lemon-butter sauce and put asparagus in plates. Put 2 eggs on each asparagus and pour left over sauce as well as sprinkle parmesan on it.

Yogurt and Spice Grilled Chicken Skewers

Yogurt and spice grilled chicken skewers is light and protein rich appetizer. Chicken and yogurt both are high in protein. Chicken contain tryptophan which boost mood and vitamin B-12 which fight depression. Consuming yogurt boosts the dopamine and nor-epinephrine levels in the brain. 210 calories are contained in this appetizer. To make yogurt and spice grilled chicken skewers, make marinade by mixing low-fat yogurt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Pour chicken breast strips in marinade for 4 hours. Thread chicken pieces in skewer and cook on preheated grill for 2 ½ mins on each side. Make sauce by mixing honey, mustard and sour cream.

Blackberry Banana Slim-Down Smoothie

This light smoothie has antioxidant rich banana and berries as well as vitamin B12 rich yogurt. Banana is among the super fruits which help to get out of stress, feel happier and boost mood. Bananas increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, thereby boost the mood. Banana also contains tryptophan, potassium and magnesium. Deficiency of vitamin B6 is common in people with depression. 250 calories are contained in this smoothie. To make this blackberry banana slim-down smoothie, just put blackberries, coconut milk, banana, lemon juice, yogurt, honey, and lemon zest in a blender and process till they become smooth.


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