Food & Your Mood

Feeling grumpy? Chew on these “good mood” foods!

Food and Mood

Whenever a bad day steers you toward a vending machine or drive-through window, the chances of that food improving your day are slim. Research increasingly shows a link between the foods we eat and our moods—and the right foods can make all of your meals happy and healthy.

Next time you’re feeling a little grumpy, use your Vitality HealthyFood™ Shopping Card to earn up to 10% savings* on healthier foods marked with the Great For You™ icon at Walmart®**. These tips will have you feeling tip-top in no time:

“B”-Rich, “B” happier
Maybe money can’t buy you happiness, but a diet rich in vitamin B may help you become a happier person. According to a 2003 study, foods rich in B vitamins may ward off depression and other mental problems. Up the "B" in your diet by eating more spinach, beans, fish and lean poultry. Try this Asian-Style Grilled Salmon and Veggie Packet, for a quick “B”-rich meal at home!

Be a PHAN
Tryptophan-rich foods naturally improve serotonin levels, which can play a role in improving your mood and can help you sleep better. Boost your tryptophan intake with cottage, cheddar, gruyere and Swiss cheeses; baked potatoes with skin, eggs, fish, milk, hummus, lentils, kelp, nuts (including peanuts), roasted pumpkin seeds, shellfish, soybean nuts, sunflower seeds, tofu, tuna, turkey and yogurt. Introduce all the family sports fans to these Tryptophan-loaded Ground Turkey Bell Pepper Nachos for a great game-watching snack.

Satisfy your Sweet Tooth
According a 2011 review from Yale University researchers, eating chocolate in moderation can improve feelings of fullness, cognitive function and mood. Get a healthy taste of sweet with these Fun and Flavorful Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. They’re so healthy, you’ll even want them for breakfast!

White and Wrong
Avoiding white pasta, bread, flours, and other simple carbohydrates is important for a good mood. These foods cause your blood sugar to rise and fall quickly, causing a brief period of high-energy, followed by a “crash” that can leave you feeling cranky.

Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy and can also help brighten your day. Sardines, salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are all excellent food sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try this Grilled Wild Salmon with Spicy Peppers, Goat Cheese and Chives for a mega Omega boost!

Eat seasonally
Fruits and vegetables taste best and are better for you while they’re in season—they’re also less expensive while they’re in abundance. This better-for-you Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese will warm you up as the winter winds down.

While healthy eating can improve your mood and help energize your day, the balances of a good night’s sleep and regular exercise are equally important. Strive to be healthy in all aspects of your day, and you’ll feel great.

*Savings earned for purchasing Great For You healthier food items will be applied to that member’s Vitality HealthyFood Shopping Card within 5-7 business days. Once applied, the savings may be used on any future purchase made at Walmart where gift cards are accepted.

**For a listing of all qualifying Great For You healthier food items, visit the Vitality HealthyFood page on HumanaVitality.com, check Walmart.com, or call the number on the back of your member ID card. Vitality HealthyFood is only available at Walmart Neighborhood Markets and Walmart retail stores. Sam’s Club stores and Walmart.com are excluded from earning Vitality HealthyFood savings.

Sources:
http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/26/health/upwave-food-mood/
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/foods-to-uplift-your-mood
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/12/07/8-foods-to-boost-your-holiday-mood/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=28
http://life.gaiam.com/article/benefits-eating-what-s-season
http://www.healthylifect.com/mind/article/Food-Mood-Science-proves-connection-from-656250.php
http://www.livescience.com/27977-junk-food-bad-mood.html
http://www.livescience.com/40281-diet-mood-boosting-foods-nutrition.html
http://www.healthline.com/health/mood-food-can-what-you-eat-affect-your-happiness

HumanaVitality is not an insurance product. This material is intended for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes.