Before the growth of modern medicine, doctors prescribed different foods for different ailments. The practice died out as western medical treatments expanded, but a recent movement is bringing these ideas back to the forefront of our medical and social culture. Read on to see how what you eat can boost your mental and physical health.
The Problem: You’re exhausted all the time.
Try: Foods with more iron, especially red meat. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which causes consistent fatigue. If you’re a vegetarian, look for dark leafy vegetables like spinach as well as some beans. See our article on Food Pairings that Increase Nutritional Benefits to learn more about increasing the absorption of iron into your body.
The Problem: You’re jittery and stressed.
Try: Cutting down on the caffeine. Although it can help you feel more alert, it can also increase stress and anxiety. If you’ve been a several-cups-a-day person for an extended period, decrease your caffeine intake slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms like headaches. Instead of coffee or a soda, try a mood-boosting shake: put a banana, strawberries, papaya, and flaxseed into a blender and shake it up for a serotonin boost without the jitters.
The Problem: You’re feeling depressed.
Try: Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which several studies have shown to reduce feelings of depression. The best sources of these healthy fats are fish like salmon, but they are also widely available in our Bistro To Go™ kiosks in nuts, peanut butter, and food with chia seeds.
The Problem: You’re feeling down in the dumps.
Try: Some simple carbohydrates. Yes, we all know that from a pure weight-loss perspective, eating plain carbs is not a healthy choice. But eating carbs without protein or fat allows your body to create tryptophan, which transforms into serotonin in the brain. A high-carb snack can be a great treat at bedtime, since it can also help you fall asleep.