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Food for happy thoughts

Last updated on Sep 14, 2018

By Alecia Sexton

Layout Editor

It’s official, a March issue of Psychological Science, an on- line journal that accepts articles from doctors around the globe, confirmed that those who dwell over stressful situations and reflect on hardships regularly have more chronic health conditions throughout their lives.

The journal reports that their health negatively affects them or holds them back on a daily basis. While there’s no way to eradicate stress completely, there are factors we have control over, such as the foods we eat. That can help keep stress hormones, namely cortisol and adrenaline, low and by extension keep cells healthy and thriving.

Our body turns the foods we eat into fuel, but what many people often forget is that the body also uses food and its components to synthesize hormones that lead to immunity, metabolic rate and mood. For example, warm oatmeal as well as other complex carbohydrates, like whole grain bread and sweet potatoes, increase levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain. This chemical is mainly responsible for mood, but it also affects appetite and sleeping patterns.

Another important component of food is its vitamin and mineral contents. For example, foods that have a higher amount of the mineral magnesium, such as spinach, brazil nuts, and quinoa, allow the body to combat muscle tension.

This may lead to less severe and frequent head aches, and may also help the body relax after times of stress.

What we as 21 century dwellers often forget is that fast food isn’t necessarily real food. Most of the in-and-out joints around these days use nutrient deficient beef and chicken laced with hormones and pesticides as well as vegetables that were grown on nutrient stripped soil. If fast food restaurants are your go-to, not only will you need to invest in larger pants, but you’ll find yourself feeling non energetic, sleep deprived and unfulfilled, since that type of food is simply
a form of quick lived energy. Instead, we should aim to include more omega-3 rich fish and nutrient dense nuts and seeds into our diets as a double edged sword against illnesses. Omega-3’s will protect the cardiovascular system from the negative effects of prolonged stress, while minerals from nuts and seeds will allow the body to maintain energy levels and aid in the elimination of harmful substances in the body.

Food is medicine, and once we begin viewing mealtime as
a time to build up our body’s defenses, everyday stresses and obligations will become easier to handle and cravings for sugar, caffeine and other stimulants will slowly disappear. After all, humans weren’t designed to need a 4 p.m. cup of coffee to get through the day. The foods we eat should be enough to sustain us and if they’re not, a diet adjustment may be in order.

Editor’s Note: The Pioneer is not responsible for giving medical advice. Please refer to a medical professional for serious concerns regarding personal health.

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