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11 Foods to Naturally Boost Your Mood and Make You Feel Happier

11 Foods to Naturally Boost Your Mood and Make You Feel Happier

Looking to boost your mood naturally? Here are 11 foods that help you do just that.

1. Swiss Chard

High in folate, also known as folic acid, swiss chard and other leafy greens are good for your mood. In fact, a study by the University of York and Hull York Medical School found a link between low folate levels and depression.

2. Dark Chocolate

If you needed another reason to indulge in dark chocolate, it’s this one: dark chocolate can make you happier. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that consuming chocolate high in cocoa flavanols increased levels of calmness and contentedness.

3. Eggs

With their essential fatty acids, eggs help your body to naturally produce serotonin. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue.

4. Almonds

Almonds pack a lot of nutrients, including folate and magnesium. Magnesium is essential to brain health, and studies have linked it to a reduction in depression, but is often deficient in modern diets. So eat more of those almonds!

5. Lentils

Lentils are a good source of folate which is essential for your mood, and a cup of cooked lentils provides 90 percent of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid. Lentils also have the amino acid L-tyrosine, which your brain uses to make the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, therefore helping your brain to combat depression.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

A zinc deficiency can trigger depressive moods, but fortunately pumpkin seeds are packed with the essential mineral. Pumpkin seeds also contain L-tryptophan, a natural mood booster.

7. Oatmeal

While some think oatmeal is one of the most boring foods on the planet, it’s good for your mental state. That’s thanks to a lot of things, including high levels of magnesium, which help your brain fight depression and anxiety. Since it’s also a great source of soluble fiber, it helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which helps you avoid mood swings.

8. Honey

The nutrients in honey produce a calming effect, helpful if you’re feeling anxious, which is why many mix it into a cup of tea in the evening. A natural sweetener, it’s also a good natural energy booster, so if you feel like you’re dragging, pop a spoonful in your mouth. Nature’s energy gel.

9. Flaxseed Oil

Our standard American Diet has left us very omega-3 deficient and that can be bad for your mental state: omega-3 has been shown to be an effective supplement for fighting depression. Flaxseed oil is an easy way to get a mega dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids, helping to improve your mood.

10. Water

A glass of water may be the simplest thing you can ingest, but it’s very helpful. Mild dehydration has been shown to dampen moods, which means if you want to feel mentally stronger, make sure you’re getting enough H2O throughout the day.

11. Asparagus

Feel like you’ve been having a lot of mood swings lately? Get some asparagus on your plate, because it is very high in folic acid — a deficiency that is common in people with depression.  Leesa recommends always choosing organic foods when available!

By Anna Brones

Top Photo Credit: Liz West

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

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Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

Why You Should Eat More Purple Fruits and Vegetables

A

basked filled with luscious blue or dark red fruit and vegetables does much more than look good in still life paintings or on your kitchen counter. It contains a wealth of incredible health benefits.

The top benefactor in purple foods is their antioxidant content. The powerful health benefits of antioxidants are only too well known: they neutralize the agents of aging and disease, and keep you looking younger longer. Now consider this: According to the USDA , potatoes with the darkest colors have more than four times the antioxidant potential than other potatoes.  Remember: The darker the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it has.


Prunes, purple cabbage, eggplant, blackberries, black currants, purple onions, concord grapes: all of these have a natural purple pigment that contains flavonoids, including reservatrol, which keeps blood pressure in control and boosts immunity from certain cancers. The skin of a black grape, for example, has this pigment, called anthocyanin. In cranberries, the purple pigment is seen to benefit those suffering from infections of the urinary tract.

There is evidence that purple foods improve heart healthvision, and brain power. Recent studies found that adults who eat purple and blue fruits and vegetables have reduced risk for both high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind); they are also less likely to be overweight.

So, with so many wonderful reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables of the purple family, get more of them into your daily diet. And don’t stop at eggplant and berries. Exciting purple varieties of corn, asparagus, figs, potatoes and such are yours for the tasting and enjoying!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

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7 Superfoods to Help You Feel Like Spring is Here

7 Superfoods to Help You Feel Like Spring is Here

Snow and cold winds have still been blowing on the east  coast. Wintry weather regardless, it feels like it is time to start  working in the garden and to think ahead to a crisp salad.

March was the first month among the ancient Romans and appropriately so, as  it is the time of year when the world seems to be “waking up” after winter. In  honor of a time of new growth and new beginnings, here are seven spring  superfoods that can help you celebrate with a good blast of nutrients on your  plate.

1) Artichokes

I’ve always thought of artichokes as signs of spring. Growing up in northern  California, we’d eat them as the season started. My favorite part was the  artichoke heart, which you only discovered after working your way through the  leaves and past the prickles.

There are real benefits to eating them as artichokes contain some unusual compounds including cynarin, which stimulates  the taste bud receptors; inulin, a prebiotic that promotes the growth of  good-for-the-gut bacteria and antioxidants (more than any other fresh food, says  the USDA), plus fiber, vitamin C and more.

2) Asparagus

For all that you can get asparagus year-round, the green stalks (endowed with vitamins A and K, B vitamins, protein and  folate) are the greenest, tenderest and tastiest now. Asparagus is high in  fiber and can help to cleanse your system (it’s been suggested as a hangover  remedy).

Asparagus is actually from the lily family and has more uses than adding  color and nutrients to your meals. African species of asparagus are grown  as ornamental plants. Asparagus is also cultivated in underground in parts  of France to prevent the development of chlorophyll.

3) Lettuce and Leafy Greens

Another green vegetable that you can get year-round (grown in California) but  that’s best in spring is lettuce. Get yours grown locally and organically  and you’ll know it may not have any pesticides or chemicals, such as  perchlorate, which is found in rocket fuel. In previous years, perchlorate was discovered in the Colorado River, which provides water for California’s  crops.

The dark green varieties of lettuce (such as romaine) as well as other dark  leafy greens, like collard greens and kale, are rich in B vitamins. Arugula is a  sort of “multivitamin” all on its own as it  contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, fiber and calcium.

4) Scallions

A mainstay of the simple Cantonese stir-fries I sometimes make , scallions or green  onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which helps to lower  blood pressure and can help allergy sufferers as they act like a histamine.   Scallions also contain vitamins A, C and K, as well as B-complex vitamins.  But take note: if you use them raw as garnish or in a salad, make sure you wash them carefully to remove any dirt — less-than-clean scallions have been linked to outbreaks of hepatitis A.

5) Spinach

This leafy green has been called the “first superfood.” It gives you a full share of vitamin C,  folate, lutein, omega 3 fatty acids and zeaxanthin, a phytochemical that can help age-related  macular degeneration. Even more (no wonder it was the food that gave superhuman  strength to Popeye), spinach contains anti-inflammatory and  anti-cancer agents and can help to strengthen your bones.

Forget about those bricks of frozen spinach in the freezer case. Spring is  the optimum time to eat spinach as, says OrganicGardening.com, warm days and “cold, nearly frosty  nights” draw out its natural sugars best.

6) Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a vegetable that is usually treated as a fruit; it belongs to the  same family as sorrel and buckwheat. Sour, fibrous and containing few calories,  the stems (the only edible part of the plant — the leaves are toxic) must be  cooked to be eaten in pies, jam and chutneys. It is used as a diuretic and laxative and also contains potassium  and vitamin C. One study suggests that chemicals extracted from rhubarb  called polyphenols could point the way to new drug treatments for leukemia and  other cancers.

7) Radishes

Another bright red spring superfood, radishes, can provide you with a good  wallop of your daily vitamin C requirement; you’ll get even more if you eat the  leaves. As radishes have a high water and fiber content, they can add bulk and crunch  to your meals with fewer calories. Even more beneficial is combining radishes with broccoli as their cancer-fighting  compounds are enhanced by myrosinase, an enzyme in radishes.

Wishing you a very nutritious, and colorful, start to the spring!

By Kristina Chew

Photo from Thinkstock

(Leesa recommends choosing Organic Produce!)

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life?   Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!  I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~  www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

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Top 10 Spring Superfoods

Top 10 Spring Superfoods

Spring is finally here and along with it starts the cascade of vibrant  superfoods.  Obviously, some take a little longer than others, but here are  my picks for the top 10 spring superfoods.  Enjoy!

Artichokes—A medium-sized artichoke is loaded with fiber (about 10 grams) and vitamin  C. It also contains plentiful amounts of the heart- and muscle-health minerals  magnesium and potassium.  It’s also high on the ORAC list of foods that have  high antioxidant values.  High amounts of antioxidants translate into reduced free radicals linked to aging and disease.

Asparagus—An excellent source of nutrients like vitamin K  which is necessary for bone health and folate, asparagus also contains good  amounts of vitamins C, A, B1, B2, niacin, B6, manganese, potassium, magnesium,  and selenium.  Its high folate content makes it especially good for pregnant women who have higher folate needs than most  people.

Chives—Potent in antibacterial, anti-yeast and  antifungal compounds, chives has many similar properties to its  relatives garlic and onion.  Chives also help boost glutathione levels in the  body.  Glutathione is a powerful detoxifier and anti-cancer compound.

Collards—Research shows that collards are among the best  foods for lowering cholesterol levels due to its superior ability to bind to  bile acids in the intestines.  Collard also shows excellent anti-cancer  properties thanks to its naturally-occurring components, including:  glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin.

Kale—Proven to lower the risk of bladder,  breast, colon, ovary, and prostate cancer, kale is among the best superfoods  available.  Great for building healthy bones largely due to its high calcium  content, kale also improves the body’s detoxification systems by increasing  isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from the vegetable’s glucosinolates.  Researchers  have identified over 45 phytonutrients in kale, including  kaempferol and quercetin, giving it impressive antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory properties.

Rhubarb—High in fiber, vitamins C and K, rhubarb stalks (not  the leaves which are poisonous), rhubarb is an excellent spring food but most  people don’t know what to do with it.  Sorry, dumping cups of sugar into it for  jams and pies wrecks any superfood qualities this food might otherwise have.  I  enjoy it stewed or added to chutneys.

Spinach—Not just for Popeye anymore, spinach is high in  iron, calcium, beta carotene (which turns into vitamin A in your body), and  vitamin K, which is important for bone and blood health.  The chlorophyll gives  spinach their green color and is a powerful blood cleanser.  High in neoxanthin,  which is proven to aid prostate health, spinach also contains the phytonutrients  lutein and zeaxanthin which strengthen the eyes and help prevent macular  degeneration and cataracts.

Spring greens—Spring greens contain high amounts of calcium  and magnesium needed for strong bones, muscles, and a relaxed nervous system.   Like spinach, they also contain the blood cleansing  phytonutrient chlorophyll.

Strawberries—Just eight strawberries pack more vitamin C  than one orange.  Whether you want to evade heart disease, arthritis,  memory loss, or cancer, these berries have proven their ability to  help.

Watercress—If ever there was a vegetable made for smokers,  watercress is it.  In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical  Nutrition, researchers found that eating raw watercress daily increased the  ability of cells to resist free radical damage to DNA, which reduces the  risk of cell changes linked to cancer.  Their research showed that this protective benefit was pronounced in smokers.  But, anyone can  benefit from this spring nutritional powerhouse.  It is also high in beta  carotene (essential for skin and eye health), B-complex vitamins (important for  nerves, energy, and mood balance), and vitamin E (critical for skin and immune  system health).

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and twelve-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com.

 

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