10 Foods That Can Wreck Your Mood
Don’t let popular sweeteners and breakfast favorites ruin your happiness.
Avoid the following 10 foods that can wreck your mood—brought to you by the creators of The Happiness Diet—and you’ll be on the fast track to a happier body and mind!
Healthy Switch: All types of sweeteners should be used in moderation, but turn to real maple syrup (make sure the label reads 100% maple syrup and lists no high-fructose corn syrup) and local honey for healthier sweetening options, advises Dr. Ramsey. These contain traces of important minerals and powerful plant antioxidants that promote health.
Healthy Switch: Try a new holiday tradition: Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, bursting with memory-preserving, mood-boosting omega-3 fats DHA and EPA. A 2008 study found that fish oil containing the same omega-3s found in wild salmon is just as effective as Prozac in treating depression. Wild salmon is lower in contaminants like mercury, too. If fish isn’t your thing, opt for pasture-raised pork loin—a top source of thiamine, a B vitamin needed for proper nervous system functioning.
Healthy Switch: As a replacement, try adding a bit of organic fruit juice to soda water.
Healthy Switch: Pastured butter—meaning butter from grass-fed cows—is higher in a special kind of fat called conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. This fat features anti-cancer properties and has been shown to slash belly fat, lower heart attack risk. Pastured butter also packs a brain-healthy omega-3 punch that industrial fats used for margarine can’t deliver.
Healthy Switch: Stick with those raw or home-roasted seeds, and don’t just roast pumpkin seeds. Seeds from any winter squash can be roasted and are loaded with the same trace minerals and natural antidepressant properties as pumpkin seeds.
Healthy Switch: Save money and your health by making these Easy Homemade Snacks, including your own microwavable popcorn. For a healthier, occasional potato fix, try baking smaller spuds with red or blue skin—the colored skin is packed with phytonutrients that benefit your mind and body.
Healthy Switch: Opt instead for organic, pastured eggs because they’re full of important brain and mood-boosting nutrients like B vitamins, zinc, and iodide, andthey’ll keep you full and energized, recommends Dr. Ramsey.
Healthy Switch: Create a brain food nut mix by combining omega-3-rich walnuts, almonds rich in vitamin E, which protects vital brain fat, and a few selenium-rich Brazil nuts. (Selenium deficiencies are linked to depression and suicide.) For an added mood-boosting kick, toss the nut mix with rosemary and sea salt, and roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Researchers are studying rosemary’s potential role as a brain-protecting herb.
Healthy Switch: ”The shocking baking swap is using pastured lard instead of vegetable shortening,” says Dr. Ramsey. The reason? The main fat in lard—oleic acid—is a monounsaturated fat linked to decreased risk of depression. Look for pastured lard from a local farmer who raises grass-fed livestock. Lard gets a bad wrap because of saturated fat content, but Dr. Ramsey notes that stearic acid, the main saturated fat in lard, isn’t linked to an increase in heart disease, nor does it impact cholesterol levels.
Healthy Switch: Naked sweet potatoes—ones baked without all of the added sugar—are loaded with beta-carotene, a fat-soluble, brain-protecting antioxidant the body uses to manufacture vitamin A. This vitamin promotes the enzymes that create mood-regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine. The Happiness Diet authors note that an even better form of vitamin A comes from products like butter and eggs produced by animals raised on pasture, so don’t be afraid to add a bit of butter with this kind of pedigree to your sweet potatoes.