Self-Control for Excellent Health

Aug 03, 2021

My husband jokes that one would think my grandparents were from Italy with all the pasta served at our family gatherings. Without fail, every celebration has a tray of ziti and lasagna to feed the first, second, and third cousins.

Pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, and sugar are all foods that increase your serotonin, a potent neurotransmitter that calms and relaxes your brain. When serotonin levels are low, you may feel the urge to reach for a sugary or starchy snack to soothe the stress. The feeling is temporary, and at the same time, the sugar and starch lower your brain’s ability to put on the brakes (pre-frontal cortex). Another chocolate brownie, anyone?

 

Self-control is a crucial factor for excellent health, and your brain is in much better control when your blood sugar is stable. The blood sugar rollercoaster ride of highs and lows takes an overwhelming toll on the body and brain. When serotonin levels are too low, people often struggle with:

  • Appetite issues (Cravings)
  • Anxiety (negative thoughts)
  • Trouble sleeping (getting to sleep and staying asleep)
  • Worry (about what you eat, how you look, what others think of you)

Research has shown that women produce 52% less serotonin than men. This may reveal why mom may tend to worry more than dad. Instead of reaching for the pancakes and French fries, better mood-boosting food choices include:

  • Blueberries (skip the ones in muffins)
  • Carrots
  • Chickpeas (hummus and carrots is a good choice)
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Sweet Potatoes

How can you swap out 1 of your go-to comfort foods for a better option? Celebrate, small tiny changes! Your mood and weight will thank you.

Take Good Care,

~Daneen

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