Friday, February 15, 2013
Food makes us feel good. Besides tasting great and nourishing the body, food also has an influence on appetite and moods. Research shows that certain foods affect powerful mood-modifying brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are made from the foods we eat, and are present in higher concentrations after meals than between them.
Of the many neurotransmitters present in our bodies, only a few affect appetite:
Serotonin: A chemical released after eating carbohydrates (sugars and starches). It enhances calmness, improves mood and lessens depression. Serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan. High levels of serotonin control appetite and satisfy cravings.
Dopamine and norepinephrine: Chemicals released after eating protein (meats, poultry, dairy, legumes). They enhance mental concentration and alertness. These neurotransmitters come from the amino acid tyrosine.
What To Eat, And When
What you choose for a meal or snack can make a difference in how much you eat or how soon you will desire to eat again. Carbohydrate and protein sources at meals might help you to feel satisfied, both at the meal and after eating. Look for carbohydrate foods that are whole grain and/or contain whole grains and fiber. Choose foods such as:
Whole grain breads and cereals.
Potatoes with skin
Whole grain pasta
Pilaf made with bulgar and quinoa
Low-fat protein foods are not only hearth-healthy, but are also easier to digest, and they won't leave you feeling weighed down like fried meats or high-fat choices such as spare ribs or salami. Choose items such as:
Tofu or textured vegetable protein
Beans and lentils
Low-fat dairy (yogurt, milk or cheese)
Combine carbohydrates and protein to keep your energy lasting even longer. Try them in any combination that works for you, or try some of these examples:
Whole grain bread with roast turkey and tomato slices, paired with an apple.
Salmon on a bed of lentils drizzled with fresh lemon juice, spicy brown rice and beans topped with Greek yogurt.
Chicken vegetable soup with a pear salad.
With good fuel, you will feel better, have more energy and sleep better.
Julie Cantrell is owner of Hood River Curves.
More like this story
- White Salmon Valley PTO holds 25th annual silent auction April 28
- CarFit Technician training held April 30
- Raices annual plant sale May 13
- Letters to the Editor for April 22
- Church News: Carina Miller at Riverside, Nazarene Blossom Bazaar
- Scholarship Benefit Saturday
- HAHRC Beats: Enjoy food more while eating less
- Area Agency on Aging seeks to redefine volunteering during National Volunteer Week, April 23-29
- Día de los Niños celebration April 28
- Drug Take Back Day April 29 at Skyline
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge