Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Mood Boosters and cravings

How interesting! Just found out that the foods I've been craving for the most are part of the group of mood booster foods. Goes to show, you should always listen to your body's cravings :)

Feel-Good Foods: Mood Boosters

Lean Beef


Lean Beef

Nutrition facts (3 oz. top sirloin): 150 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 26 g protein
How it boosts mood: A daily dose of vitamin B12, found in high doses in red meat, may prevent depression. Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of red blood cells and serotonin, and it enables the nervous system, including the brain, to function well. Three ounces of beef contains 37 percent of an adult’s daily needs for B12.
Tip: If you swore off red meat because you thought it was full of fat and cholesterol, you should know that lean cuts such as sirloin, top round, and strip steak have just slightly more saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast.
Quick-prep idea: Throw thinly sliced beef tenderloin into a sauté pan with olive oil and garlic. Cook until no longer pink (1 to 2 minutes per side), then add vegetables (peppers, onions, spinach, etc.) and a splash of reduced-sodium soy sauce. Cook the dish for a few more minutes.



Nutrition facts (3 oz.): 150 calories, 6 g fat, 22 g protein
How it boosts mood: Foods high in omega-3s, such as salmon and other fatty fish, have been found to promote feelings of well-being. Studies of people who traditionally eat high amounts of fish, such as those who live in the Mediterranean region, have found that these people have lower rates of depression.
It’s especially important for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, and children to stick to eating low-mercury fish, such as salmon. Eat up to 12 ounces of lower-mercury fish per week (a salmon steak can equal 4 to 6 oz.); serve smaller portions to kids.


Nutrition facts (4 oz. seafood): 112 calories, 1 g fat, 24 g protein
How it boosts mood: Selenium is a trace mineral (meaning you don’t need a lot of it each day) found in seafood, which has been linked to mental decline, anxiety, and depression when enough isn’t consumed on a daily basis. In one study, people who followed a high-selenium diet for 15 weeks felt more confident, clear-headed and elated than those on a low-selenium diet.
The recommended daily amount of selenium for adults is is 55 mcg. Four ounces of shrimp (6 to 7 large ones) and crab (3/4 cup) have 45 mcg of selenium, and 4 oz. of lobster (3/4 cup) has 48 mcg. In addition, seafood contains small amounts of omega-3s, found to decrease depression and improve mood.
Quick-prep idea: Brush seafood with garlic-infused olive oil and place on a hot grill. Then cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Next, squeeze fresh lemon over top and serve over cooked brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

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