Healthy and Delicious Mood-Boosting Snacks

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I know I’m not the only one who eats one too many pieces of cake (or the whole cake!) and after temporary pleasure spends the rest of the day upset.  Turns out that what we eat, however, does more than just give us food guilt when we veer off track – it actually affects our mood, energy level and health in the long AND short term (anyone else get bad headaches after too much sugar?). I try to always have cut up, ready-to-eat fruit in my fridge. I know it’s best to wait until you’re about to eat to cut up your fruit, but I rather sacrifice some nutrition knowing that if I don’t pre-cut my fruit I will instead opt for an easy snack (like a chocolate chip cookie) when I’m hungry. Unfortunately my fruit plates don’t look nearly as appealing as the above! Further, it’s important to have solid solutions for both sweet and savory cravings. With that in mind I turned to May Tom, Resident Dietitian at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa (an all-inclusive resort focussed on heathy living and fitness, located in California), and asked her share with us her favorite healthy, delicious, mood-boosting snacks. I don’t know about you, but I want them all…

  • Vegetable Crudités and ¼ cup hummus

“Hummus is rich in healthy fat, protein and carbs. Snacks that combine healthy carbs with protein and/or fat helps to stabilize blood sugars and also helps to prolong satiety- this can be very strategic in preventing “hangry” episodes that can wreak havoc on mood.”

  • Homemade Trail Mix

“Combine unsalted nuts such as almonds and walnuts, cut up dried unsulfured apricots, organic shredded coconut and cocoa nibs. Nuts contain fatty acids essential for brain health while the polyphenols in chocolate fight anxiety and depression.”

  • Canned Salmon Mash

“Mash salmon with avocado, onions, spices, salt and pepper. Stuff the mixture into half of a raw bell pepper. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids- EPA helps to relieve depressive symptoms while DHA is imperative for overall brain health.”

  • Frozen Banana: Roll banana in yogurt and then chopped nuts, freeze

“Bananas contain a prebiotic fiber called resistance starch that helps feed good bacteria in the gut. Studies have shown that a healthy microbiome is associated with better mood, so happy gut bacteria makes you happy too!”

  • Mini Frittata: Whisk eggs with chopped veggies, salt and pepper and bake in muffin tins

“Eggs are an excellent source of choline, a B vitamin that is a key player in the central nervous system. Studies have shown that people with low choline levels experience more anxiety.”

  • Baked Sweet Potato Sprinkled with Cinnamon and Walnuts

“Sweet potato is a great source of complex carbohydrates which help raise levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Pair with some cinnamon and a few walnuts to balance blood sugar.”

  • Yogurt (unsweetened Greek, plain or dairy free) with ¼ cup Berries and Chia Seeds

“Yogurt contains probiotics, live bacteria that thrive in the large intestines. Studies have shown that consuming probiotics through food or supplementation helps to reduce both anxiety and depression.”

  • 1 inch square Dark Chocolate (> 70%) with 1 cup Green Tea

“Dark chocolate contains two compounds that actually help lower cortisol or “the stress hormone” and raise levels of serotonin. Green tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine which helps to promote mental relaxation, learning and memory.”

  • Cucumber Slices Topped with Smoked Salmon and Broccoli Sprouts

“Fatty fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for brain health. Studies have even shown that individuals who take fish oil supplements have less depressive symptoms than those who don’t.”

Images: instagram.com/befitfoods

1 Comment

  1. KW
    November 21, 2016 / 11:03 am

    Looks yummy

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