Good Mood Food

Good Mood Food

Good mood foods include almonds, chia seeds and Betsy’s Best

We all know the foods we eat impact our bodies, but we don’t always realize how our food choices can affect our moods. Nutrition plays an important role in brain chemistry and structure. As a result, what we put on our plates directly affects our behavior and mental state. Although there’s still a lot of research to be done in this area, scientific studies have provided us with important clues on the importance of good mood food!

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (primarily found in fatty fish like salmon and trout), as well as almonds, walnuts and chia seeds, have all been shown to reduce or “chill-out” nervous system activity, in turn producing a calming effect. Try a serving of Betsy’s Best Gourmet Almond Butter (which contains chia seeds) to relax your mind and give your day a healthy boost!

Getting enough Vitamin D in your diet can also help brighten your day. Low serum levels of this nutrient have been associated with mood disorders such as PMS, depression and seasonal affective disorder. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, along with whole eggs, are part of a select group of foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. Since this nutrient can be difficult to incorporate into your daily diet, it’s recommended to get Vitamin D from a variety of sources, including short periods of sun exposure, supplements and fortified foods such as grain products.

On the other side of the spectrum, some foods can also dampen your mood. For example, caffeine is notorious for disturbing sleep cycles, in turn causing irritability. If you’re a coffee drinker, try to limit your intake to one or two cups a day (that means less than 16 oz!) and resist drinking caffeine-containing beverages after lunch to help avoid sleep disturbances later. Foods high in saturated fat, such as baked goodies or greasy snacks, can also leave you feeling a bit disconnected. This happens because fatty foods are digested slowly, diverting blood from your brain to your stomach, consequently leaving you in a fog. Try switching out a breaded chicken and cheese sandwich for one made with grilled chicken and a healthy source of fat, like avocado.

Adding good mood foods and avoiding the bad can really impact your mood in a positive way. Give it a try. Your mind will feel clearer, your mood will be better and your heart will thank you later!

Exercise Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know

Exercise Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know

It’s common knowledge that exercise helps with weight loss, reduces the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and builds bone strength. But what are some other exercise benefits that are not as frequently mentioned? Get motivated with these added bonuses.

Five Exercise Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know

IMPROVES MOOD
Need a pick me up? Exercise produces endorphins, which increase happiness. It also increases levels of serotonin in the brain, which can lead to a person feeling calmer and the ability to handle stress better. So the next time you feel the blues coming on… Get moving!

BETTER COGNITION
Starting each day with exercise can make you smarter. Exercise gets the brain moving and helps it supply more oxygen and nutrients to support optimal functioning. Studies have shown that people who exercise are more productive at work so if you are having trouble concentrating or solving a complex problem, a quick jog around the block might do you a world of good. Exercise that mind and you can cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and senility, too!

FEWER SICK DAYS
Exercise keeps you from being sick by bolstering your immune system and helping the body to fight off simple bacterial and viral infections. It helps flush bacteria out of the lungs, sending antibodies and white blood cells through the body quicker, and slowing the release of stress-related hormones.

SLEEP REGULATION
Working up a sweat when you exercise can help you hit the sheets harder at bedtime. People who exercise regularly have more energy during the day, fall asleep faster, and sleep more soundly at night. The endorphins created by exercise help you power through the day, and the increased stamina and strength will help everyday tasks seem easier to accomplish. Sleeping well is truly an exercise benefit that can help boost your ability to perform all of your daily tasks.

If you really want to supercharge the benefits of exercise, combine your workouts with a nutrition plan that includes great tasting, all-natural foods, such as free-range meats, whole grains, organic fruits and vegetables, and of course, Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut and Seed Butters.