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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bad mood? Try with food

Your Mood: Anxious
You need to stay sharp through a grueling job interview.

Your Meal: Half a grilled-chicken wrap at lunch, hold the mayo

Here's Why: Eating between 4 and 5 ounces of protein helps your brain create dopamine and norepinephrine, neurochemicals that keep you alert, says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., author of The Serotonin Power Diet.



Your Mood: Stressed
You have to meet a deadline without being overwhelmed.

Your Meal: A handful of sesame seeds while you're working

Here's Why: Stress hormones can deplete your body's supply of magnesium, reducing your stress-coping abilities and increasing your risk of developing high blood pressure, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D., author of Food & Mood.



Your Mood: Restless
You need some serious shut-eye before the big day.

Your Meal: Nonfat popcorn half an hour before you go to bed

Here's Why: The carbs will induce your body to create serotonin, a neurochemical that makes you feel relaxed. "Make sure it's fat-free, because fat will slow the process of boosting serotonin levels," says Somer.



Your Mood: Depressed
Problems at home are doing you in.

Your Meal: Grilled salmon or sushi for dinner

Here's Why: A study in Finland found that people who eat more fish are 31 percent less likely to suffer from depression. And skip sweet, simple carbs­ -- the inevitable sugar crash can actually deepen depression.



Your Mood: Insecure
Your confidence is waning as the night wears on.

Your Meal: A snack-size chocolate bar when she's in the bathroom

Here's Why: Chocolate contains a host of chemicals to brighten your mood, Somer says, including anadamine, which targets the same receptors as THC, and phenylethylamine, which produces a cozy, euphoric feeling.




Your Mood: Flummoxed
You've forgotten your last two deadlines.

Your Meal: Pineapple chunks for a snack or a cup of berries in your oatmeal

Here's Why: Antioxidants from the most-colorful fruits and vegetables help pick off the free radicals that wear away at your memory. "Because your brain consumes so much oxygen, oxidants do heavy damage there," says Somer.


Health
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