Comfort Foods

When you heard the words comfort foods, your first thought LIKELY went to picture something that you can order at Cracker Barrel, right?  I’ve gotta admit, I do love that kind of comfort food, however, I often feel guilt when I overindulge in those kinds of comfort foods.  They comfort temporarily, but cause anxiety/frustration after the initial comfort food buzz wears off.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about learning to eat anything in moderation when you are at a healthy weight.  However, when you’re not at a healthy weight, although that food tastes delicious in the moment, it doesn’t help with long-term goals of getting healthy, so for me I’m going to (MOSTLY) avoid those foods for now.

I heard something interesting on the radio this morning that made me think of all of this.  Apparently, certain foods have the ability to CALM or comfort you, even to reduce anxiety!  That’s good news for someone who struggles with anxiety.  AND all of these foods will help me get to my long-term goal.  Here is the list of food that the nutritionist mentioned as well as some foods that I found suggested in an article at www.mensfitness.com:

1.  Honey (she suggested in tea or maybe with oatmeal)
-Honey is known to have a calming effect on the mind and promotes sleep.

2.  Milk
-Milk is high in antioxidants, vitamins B2 and B12, as well as protein and calcium. The protein lactium has a calming effect by lowering blood pressure, while the potassium in milk can help relieve muscle spasms triggered by feeling tense.

3.  Bananas
-New research shows that bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, which is known to help you to relax, improve your mood and cause you to feel happier.

4.  Oranges (or other citrus fruits)
-Vitamin C is another vitamin known to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol.

5.  Avocados
-We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Bonus: They’re also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure.

6.  Nuts and Seeds
-Get some stress-relief munching on almonds, which are rich in vitamins B2 and E. Both of these nutrients help bolster the immune system during times of stress.

7.  Salmon
-A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense.

8.  Spinach
-Spinach is packed with magnesium, the mineral that helps regulate cortisol levels and promote feelings of wellbeing.

9.  Turkey
-That sleepy feeling you get after eating Thanksgiving dinner is due to the amino acid tryptophan found in turkey. Tryptophan signals the brain to release the feel-good chemical serotonin, which promotes calmness and even tiredness.

10.  Oatmeal
-Oatmeal is another food that helps get the calm-inducing hormone serotonin flowing.  The less processed versions are the healthiest for you.

11. Blueberries
-Blueberries may seem small, but just a handful pack a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C, making them mighty stress-busters. When we’re stressed, our bodies need vitamin C and antioxidants to help repair and protect cells. |

12.  Asparagus
-Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, and one vegetable that boosts this mood-enhancing nutrient is asparagus.

Lucky for me, I’ve grown to love most of the above foods.  If you’re not there yet, keep trying new foods.  Our taste buds change over time and what you didn’t like as a kid, you may like now!  I’ve found that the more I eat healthier foods, the more I crave and enjoy them.  I’ve also found a lot of foods that I didn’t think I’d like that I now love.  So get adventurous with your eating, it’s worth it to find delicious healthy food that will help you get to your goals!

Here are websites where I found the above info:
http://www.doomandbloom.net/raw-honey-is-medicine/
http://www.rodalenews.com/drinks-lower-stress
http://www.20minutestolessstress.com/Banannas.html
http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/eat-to-beat-stress-10-foods-that-reduce-anxiety

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