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Eat Your Feelings: What to Eat When You’re Feeling Down

We’ve all had those moments of shame when we’ve realized that we’ve been sitting on the couch eating chips all day. For some of us, it might be a more frequent pastime. If you find yourself feeling sad, upset, or just plain tired, then here are the foods you should eat to make you feel better.

What to eat when you’re feeling…

Sad

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  • Oranges and papaya are high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, which are both lacking in people who suffer from depression.
  • Studies have shown that chocolate has serotonin- and dopamine-boosting chemicals.
  • Magnesium also boosts your energy, so snacks like pumpkin seedssunflower seedscashewsalmonds, and peanuts also help!

Sick

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  • For hundreds of years, chicken soup has been recommended as a remedy for the common cold. It is effective in clearing nasal mucus because of the hot steam that it gives off.
  • Garlic has also been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. Several studies have shown that garlic extract supplements can improve immune function and decrease the severity of colds.
  • If you are feeling nauseous, then ginger is the way to go. Ginger has been shown to relieve nausea related to pregnancy and cancer treatment.
  • Avocados are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so they are a great food to eat when you’re sick because they provide the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. They also decrease inflammation and help your immune system.

Upset

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  • Spinach is rich in serotonin, which gives you those good feelings we all crave. It also provides your body with the minerals it needs to get your energy back.
  • Filled with potassium and B-complex vitamins, bananas have been proved to put you in a better mood. They control blood pressure, thereby stabilizing your mood after an upset.
  • Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which help in the production of endorphins. They also contain powerful antioxidants, which help in the removal of harmful toxins from your body.
  • If healthy options fail you, then a hearty bowl of mac and cheese will undoubtedly do the trick. Carbs make the best comfort foods as they increase levels of serotonin.

Tired

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  • A study from the International Journal of Obesity found that people who ate eggs for breakfast had more stable energy levels throughout the day. Eggs contain important vitamins which can improve your memory as well!
  • Dark chocolate contains caffeine, which can certainly wake you up. It’s also a healthy option and can improve your cognitive functions.
  • Sweet potatoes are filled with potassium which help keep electrolytes balanced. They also help relax our bodies and lower blood pressure, thus lessening stress that can cause fatigue.
  • The “good” bacteria in yogurt does a great job of regulating your digestion, which results in more energy that lasts longer.

Gassy and bloated

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  • Celery and funnel help to flush out excess water that you’re keeping in your body. This is why some cultures around the world eat fennel seeds after eating a large meal in order to reduce inflammation and to ensure proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • Asparagus also has healthy bacteria that aid digestion.
  • Pineapple also contains a digestion-promoting enzyme called bromelain.

Hungover

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  • Bland foods like toast and crackers help your blood sugar and stomach when recovering from a rough night out. Avoid crackers with too much salt or flavorings as this might upset your stomach.
  • Eating tomatoes or drinking tomato juice can help reboot your levels of vitamin C – this is why Bloody Mary cocktails have become popular for breakfast. But for now, just stick to the tomato juice.
  • Broccoli is rich in folic acid, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K, so eating just a cup of cooked broccoli will make you feel better.

Bonus
As a lot of us are students, it makes sense to offer some advice on what to eat while studying. Here’s a short list:

  • Eggs contain many nutrients, antioxidants, and protein, which will give you plenty of energy and stamina to study.
  • Many people think that peanut butter is unhealthy, but it actually contains healthy facts and a lot of protein! This makes it great “brain food” that will keep you energized full for a long time. Check out this recipe for peanut butter honey yogurt dip with apples.
  • Pumpkin seeds are armed with zinc that helps boost memory, which could definitely give you an advantage if you’re preparing for an exam!
  • And of course, nothing can go wrong with a little fruit & veg in any situation.

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Written by Sophie Poulsen

Hello! I'm Sophie. (: I am a regular contributor here on Psych2Go. I'm currently doing my BSc in Communication and Media, but psychology has always been one of my interests. I am particularly interested in criminal psychology and how the mind of a psychopath works, though I am interested in all areas of psychology. I hope you enjoy my articles and if you would like to contact me, please feel free to do so at sophiepoulsen47@gmail.com.

Success: A Tale of Two Mindsets

Eat Your Feelings: What to Eat When You’re Feeling Down