HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
Eat to Boost Your Mood! (Part 2)
Tired, crabby or blue? The following foods can help you bounce back to your happy self.
- Vitamin D
More and more studies are showing that vitamin D levels can affect the mood, although the exact mechanism has yet to be determined. In one study, researchers reported improved moods among participants who were given high doses of vitamin D supplementation (from 2,800 to 6,000 IUs daily).
How much to take: You can get some vitamin D in offal, egg yolk and some mushrooms. If you don't really consume these foods and you don't get much exposure to sunlight, you may benefit from a supplement. But I would advise against popping a vitamin D pill before talking to your doctor.
These little sea creatures are among the best sources of dietary zinc, another mineral that can affect your mood. Known to regulate the nervous system; studies suggest that an adequate intake of zinc can reduce the incidence of depression by influencing serotonin levels and overall brain chemistry.
How much to take: Once a week or every fortnight. If you loathe oysters, you can also get some zinc in beans, pulses, nuts and seafood. Try to consume seafood, beans and pulses at least twice a week.
Clams are rich in cobalamin (vitamin B12) - a deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to an increased risk of depression. Scientists explain that this vitamin is needed for the synthesis of serotonin, the 'soothing' neurotransmitter which boosts mood, improves sleep and reduces stress levels.
How much to take: Once a week or every fortnight. Other good sources of vitamin B12 include beef liver, fish, crustaceans and eggs. If you're a vegan or strict vegetarian, a B12 supplement may be recommended.
- Whole Foods.
A diet rich in processed meats, sweets, fried foods, refined cereals and other sugar-laden foods has been linked to a greater risk of depression compared to one revolving mostly around wild fish, fresh veggies and fruits, and other whole foods.
Researchers speculate that a diet rich in processed foods promote chronic, low grade inflammation and disrupt your gut flora - this can lead to depression.
P.S: If it feels like nothing but a tub of ice cream will help; don't beat yourself up. Look for a brand that contains only real ingredients (no weird chemical stuffs you can't begin to pronounce). Before you dig in; choose a spot that makes you feel good and relaxed, scoop out some ice cream in a bowl and keep the tub in the freezer before starting to eat. Go to the spot you chose and enjoy every single bite you take without feeling guilty.
Submitted by: Shari