When your mood is down in the doldrums, what do you usually do? 'Eat' is a common answer to this question. And at this time, we do not look out for food from a health book. Our instinct is to reach out for comfort foods or foods we love to gorge on. Most often these comfort foods are not healthy. To illustrate, some examples of mood-lifting foods are fried chicken, potato chips, chocolate etc.
Comfort foods are never healthy snacks like salads and soups. This because when you are depressed, you don't feel like cooking yourself a healthy meal. All you want to do is reach into the refrigerator and gorge on something interesting.
Depression and food have a strange connection with each other. The more depressed we are the more we want to eat foods to lift our mood. Thus we need to make sure that these comfort foods turn into healthy snacks. Or else we would put on too much weight for our liking.
There is a simple way to do this. You can either replace your favourite comfort foods with their low fat substitutes or you stock your refrigerator with foods that are healthy. Both tactics will work and ensure that you eat healthy even when you are depressed. For example, if you love chocolate, you can settle for some healthy dark chocolate instead of sweet and fattening milk chocolate. Popcorn is a mood-lifting food that is healthy when popped without butter and excessive salt.
Here are a list of comfort foods that are both healthy and low in calories. So gorge on them on your 'low days'.
Cocoa has a calming effect on your nerves. Just make sure you are not having sweetened cocoa because apart from calming you, it will make you fat.
You cannot be expected to bake chicken when you are low. But you can always keep some smoked chicken cuts in your deep freezer. It is a good replacement for fried chicken.
If you are craving for ice-cream then settle for some iced smoothie. Smoothies are easy to make, chilled and creamy. And yes, don't add any sugar.
Baked Potato Wedges
They may not be as yummy as the oily fried potato wedges, but they will make you feel better. You can even find 'heat and eat' baked potato wedges in the shops now.
Air Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is a very healthy snack if it is prepared without butter. It is rich in fibre. Make sure you sprinkle less salt.
Unsalted Dry Fruits
Don't reach out for fried and salted cashews everytime you want to munch something. So, go for natural dry fruits like almonds, cashew, apricots etc.