COPY-2/27/09 - Foods that Soothe

This is just a sampling of how foods can be a natural means of curing some of our "blues." For more ideas, check with your personal physician and familiarize yourself with the USDA Food Pyramid.

Vitamins & Minerals
In lieu of turning to medications only, many foods contain vitamins or minerals that might have a positive affect on our bodies. Studies suggest that there are calming properties in foods containing Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and complex carbohydrates. Foods that contain some of these are citrus, bananas, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, raisins, milk and fish.

The B vitamin folate has been known to be an effective antidepressant. Leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, cereal and legumes contain folate.

Tryptophan turns into the soothing neurotransmitter serotonin. That's why, when we eat foods that make more serotonin, a bad mood can be eased temporarily. Tryptophan is particularly abundant in chocolate, oats, bananas, mangoes, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry like turkey, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts.

There really does seem to be something to the relationship between what we eat and how we feel. Check out our tips for getting the most from the foods we eat.