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Health Column: Mood Food

By Alecia Sexton

Staff Writer

We often correlate food with social events and see meal time as a time to relax and wind down. Because relaxing and winding down often entails eating whatever we want, for many, mealtime has become a detrimental calorie overloading event.

According to Joshua Rosenthal, the Founder and Director of the Institution of Integrative Nutrition, protein directly affects the sharpness of our minds and increases alertness. It does this by increasing the concentration of an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine aides in energy production and concentration.

If you’re searching for a boost of energy, you might want to try adding in some leafy green vegetables to each meal. Dark green veggies, such as kale and collard greens, are rich in chlorophyll which increases the oxygen carrying capacity of cells. This makes exercise and other activities easier since nutrients are delivered more efficiently to bodily tissue.

Carbohydrates lead to an increase in serotonin, which is responsible for soothing and calming the body. This makes sense since many of us often feel lethargic and relaxed after a big bowl of pasta or a hearty serving of mashed potatoes.

Due to the fact that fat requires more energy by the body to be broken down it leads to sluggish, heavy feelings rather than light and uplifting ones.

Additionally, high density fats such as those found in meats and cheeses actually slow down the digestive process, and this can be unfavorable if your goal is to shed those winter pounds that regretfully make their way to our bellies.

On the flip side, we relate foods such as salads and protein shakes to feeling energized and uplifted.

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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