"Grab the ice cream and bring on the chocolate!" While this may be a typical response to a bad mood for many, studies have shown that eating junk food can actually make you feel even worse. In fact, there are both physical and emotional side effects of chowing down on unhealthy foods that may make you want to rethink your decision to overindulge.
But if it tastes good, then why is it bad?
Foods loaded with fat, calories and carbohydrates typically have little nutritional benefit. While the first few bites are packed with pleasure, it's the aftermath that leaves a sad and empty feeling. When consuming foods filled with sugars, the highs may make you feel good for the moment, but once they wear off, the crash leaves you wanting to repeat the nasty cycle. Many culinary schools, elementary and secondary schools have all tested this concept and found that when only healthy foods are served in the cafeteria, it has a noted positive impact on the performance, concentration and overall behavior of the students.
Effects on the mind and body
The most common effects include:
* Blood sugar highs and lows
* Memory loss
* Weight gain
* Mood swings
Why can some food make you happy?
While most people don't crave things like baby carrots or broccoli when in search of comfort foods, these healthier options can actually make you happier. When you choose foods rich in Omega 3, folic acid, vitamin B12 or selenium, a remarkable increase in energy can cause a more positive transformation than the junk food you may crave.
Make these your five new comfort foods:
1. Blueberries: Their sweet and juicy flavor makes them extremely palatable, but the value of blueberries is more than skin deep. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries has been linked to a lower risk of cancer and many studies show that there is actually an element of vision preservation involved as well. Try eating them by the handful or mix them in a fruit or green salad.
2. Bananas: Bananas are one of the healthiest and easiest to eat snacks out there, contained in their own perfect natural packaging. They contain tryptophan and when consumed this becomes serotonin, a chemical proven to improve mood. The healthy carbohydrate level also improves energy as well. Bananas are great on their own but if you want a change, try putting them in your oatmeal in the morning and heating them up along with it. As many learn in culinary college, when fruit heats up, the natural sugars make the taste even sweeter.
3. Nuts: Great for snacking and great for your body. Nuts contain selenium, protein and vitamin E, which help to combat stress and leave you feeling energized. Many different types of nuts come in easy-to-carry packaging that fits comfortably in a purse or briefcase. When you are in need of a quick energy or mood boost, count on these powerhouses to take you on the road to recovery fast.
4. Broccoli: The vitamin B and folic acid content in this green wonder food has been found to have a great impact on mood. Broccoli's beta carotene, antioxidants and vitamin C have been said to lower the risk of cancer, heart attack and cataracts, while helping to balance overall health and disposition. While the amount of calcium in a single serving of broccoli is less than that in a glass of milk, it is still a notable amount and a great way for those who do not consume dairy to get this important nutrient. Great in salads or paired with a low calorie dressing, the benefits of broccoli make this green veggie easy to swallow.
5. Chocolate: And finally, what all junk food lovers have been waiting to hear. But before you get too excited, it is important to note that while chocolate - of the dark variety especially - is packed with many health benefits, moderation is the key. Pastry classes are a great way to explore the variety of options, even healthy ones, in making desserts with chocolate. Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants that have been linked to heart health and has also been said to increase glucose tolerance. It's also rich in carbohydrates which help the brain to release serotonin at a faster rate.
Next time you are feeling weak or a bit down in the dumps, forget the chips and grab any one of these five fantastic snacks.
Information in this article was provided by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Contact LCB - Minneapolis today if you're interested in developing marketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with an industry-current degree program. (Le Cordon Bleu does not guarantee employment or salary.)
Courtesy of ARAcontent