Is there such a thing as “mood food?” As a contract food services company in Atlanta, we strongly believe there is a correlation between the foods you eat and how you feel – even your happiness. Working in the corporate dining, airport concessions, K-12 and university cafeteria, and other sectors, we know the importance of fresh, healthy foods not only for better health, but an improved state of mind.
Research has shown that specific foods, and even your eating habits, could result in increased happiness and energy. Food plays a role in many aspects of our lives, and eating well means living well. So what are some of the strategies that may help maintain a good mood?
Eating meals and snacks on a regular schedule every day. Your body needs fuel continuously, and eating at regular intervals also helps keep blood sugar levels on an even keel.
Skipping meals could result in a bad mood. When you’re in a hurry and dash out the door without eating a healthy breakfast, you’ll likely overeat at lunch. This isn’t a good idea according to the Mayo Clinic, who says your body cannot easily absorb or digest food when you skip meals.
Avoid the biggest “bad mood” culprits – junk food and refined white starches. Crackers, white bread, candy, soda, processed foods like chips, even jams, syrups, and other foods containing simple sugars, result in erratic blood sugar levels. A spike in blood sugar will give you a burst of energy, but it won’t be long before you feel cranky and tired. Limit these foods as much as possible.
So, what to eat to feel your best and enjoy a greater level of happiness?
Protein-rich foods such as seafood, poultry, eggs, and tofu are good choices. When it comes to vitamins, B-12 and D are important mood boosters and may help avoid depression. Foods containing vitamin D include milk (low-fat), egg yolks, and soymilk to name a few. What to eat to get your B-12 and folate? Salmon, cottage cheese, broccoli, oranges, oatmeal, lean beef, lentils and spinach or other dark, leafy greens.
Fiber-rich foods increase the “feel good” hormone serotonin in the body, and slow the rate at which your bloodstream absorbs sugar. Avoid mood swings by including pears, oats, Brussels sprouts, peas, and beans in your diet.
A healthy body and better state of mind are definitely something to feel happy about!
Gourmet Services, Inc. believes in providing quality, healthy food choices that are fresh, nutritious, and delicious. For all of your foodservice management needs, count on GSI to go beyond your expectations.