A broken heart never really mends although the layers of time do much to suppress the pain. Relationships especially, make people happy but they also possess the potential to cause heartache. Even though you may not feel like eating or your depression may cause you food cravings as never before, it pays to be sensible and not torture your body further with unhealthy food. From whole grain pastas to butter nut squash in Mac n cheese, there are many foods that you could find comfort where science has proven such foods can dull the pain. Certain wholesome foods can trigger happier memories or possess certain chemicals that elevate mood. Here are 10 comforting but healthy foods for a broken heart.
Foods to boost serotonin
Topping this list are those foods which actually induce chemicals in the brain that elevate mood. Those with serotonin deficiency are more susceptible to depression and related conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Foods like cheese, salmon, eggs and nuts all enhance serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences mood, sleep, digestion, memory and various bodily functions. Elevating serotonin can help improve mood.
Eggs especially are rich in tryptophan, a vital amino acid that is essential for the production of serotonin. Eggs anyway you like will give you a power pack of healthy ingredients including omega 3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart disease and hypertension.
Reach for that bar of dark chocolate
If you are depressed, this is one reason to smile because there is nothing more comforting than a bar of premium dark chocolate, so dig in. While Dark Chocolate also contributes to serotonin production, it does much to protect you from cancer and heart disease. There is one problem in digging into a bit of dark chocolate when sad.
Yes, you can have a drink of red wine but one should never over do it. Wine as you may not have known contains antioxidants and a compound known as resveratorl that is able to reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease and prevents cardiac inflammation
Increase healthy carbs
Increase your carbs. Serotonin itself isn’t found directly in any food but the amino acid tryptophan is which is how serotonin is formed. Most foods rich in vitamin B-6, iron and riboflavin will usually contain high levels of tryptophan and the best way to derive increased levels of serotonin from tryptophan is to load up on carbs.
Carbs help release more serotonin in the brain thus relieving a depressed mood. Healthy snacks like peanut butter and oatmeal cookies or whole grain bread with grilled salmon or chicken breast are full of incredibly healthy properties. Healthy carbs can also include whole grain pasta, brown arborio rice with mushrooms and quinoa.
Combination of carbs and protein snacks
You can’t get better comfort food than a combination of healthy protein snack like a grilled turkey sandwich with quinoa. Even a smoked chicken breast with some kale and grilled tofu can do the trick. Both turkey and chicken breast have amazing healthy properties that include essential nutrients, vitamin and minerals. They also contain the unique BCAA (Branch Chain amino acid) Leucine that is unique for stimulating the process of skeletal and muscle synthesis.
Such combos are rich in tryptophan and widely regarded as among the best comfort food. High fiber diet can also contribute to improving gut bacteria known to play a role in serotonin regulation and function through the gut-brain axis
Almonds and nuts
While you can consider munching on a mixture of nuts like almonds, walnuts and peanuts during the day to boost your mood, your taste buds would be thoroughly satisfied with the goodness of peanut butter or almond butter combinations. Peanut butter with low sugar jam or organic honey on multigrain bread is a great way to heal yourself when in the lowest of moods. In fact nuts and legumes constitute the Mediterranean diet which research has proven to be helpful when dealing with depression.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna can never be praised enough for its fantastic health benefits including being a food for broken hearts. The main health ingredient in fish is the healthy lipids or fats which many know as omega 3 fatty acids. Eating fish also improves immunity which falls to alarming levels when one is depressed. It also helps fight inflammation, heart conditions, cholesterol and various diseases. Fish is an excellent and healthy source of protein when you want to stay away from red meat.
While such foods are mood boosters when delaying with the depression of a broken heart, you need to pick up the pieces and get back on track. Helpful activity that keeps you focused and boosts serotonin is exercise; a daytime walk in the park for healthy dose of sunshine; yoga and meditation that may help you sleep. Easier said than done but remaining positive may soon pull you out of the emotional crisis.