Achieving inner peace is the goal of many religions, self-help programs, and exercise routines. No matter the reasons to seek out inner peace, it will not come immediately with the first yoga pose. We have a lot of baggage and distractions in this world that keep us from letting go and being completely happy, at peace with ourselves. Food can add weight to that baggage as well.
Our diets are overwhelmed with processed, deep fried, overly salted, or sugary foods that sound comforting on the surface, but really contribute to depression, stress, and anxiety. Processed foods are lacking in the fiber that controls the flow of nutrients into our bodies. Saturated fats and trans fats clog the pathways good fats would use to combat depression, inflammation, and more. Too much salt unbalances the electrolytes in our bodies, leaving us dehydrated, fatigued, and straining to pump thick blood. Sugary snacks flood the blood stream with more fructose and glucose than it can handle, causing sugar spikes, crashes, and cellular damage while also stressing the kidneys and liver. When the liver is overcome by the amount of sugar coming into the blood stream it begins converting fructose into fat and encourages cells to store this fat to get it out of the way.
To be truly happy and at peace, one must give up some of these “comfort” foods that contribute to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and many other illnesses or conditions. Start by changing your recipes to exclude large amounts of animal fats, processed foods, and processed sugar of any kind. Use olive oil or coconut oil in cooking to get healthy omega 3s without as many free radicals. Eat fresh fruit for your sweets. These contain only small amounts of fructose and the water and fiber in them keeps the flow under control so your liver can keep up. There are also many fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that contribute to a good mood that will make your path to inner peace that much easier.
Brightly Colored Fruits And Vegetables – These are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that protect and nourish the brain. The colors can also be assigned to a chakra. You need a variety to keep each chakra healthy.
Avocados – Avocados are rich in vitamin B6 and omega 3s. B6 is used in the process of creating serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter. Omega 3s help combat depression.
Bananas – These contain B6 and tryptophan, both are used in the production of serotonin and several other neurotransmitters and hormones.
Asparagus – Asparagus is also rich in folic acid.
Dark Leafy Greens – Greens like kale and spinach contain folic acid and magnesium. Magnesium is a crucial part of many body functions and is important in maintaining a healthy mood.
Almonds – Many nuts, including almonds, are rich in omega 3s and magnesium. Magnesium is used in the creation of GABA, a neurotransmitter that regulates the excitability of neurons and also controls dopamine levels.
Amaranth – Healthy complex carbohydrates help the brain absorb tryptophan, increasing serotonin levels. Amaranth also contains omega 3s and magnesium.
Sunflower Seeds – These seeds are rich in omega 3s, magnesium, and selenium. Selenium deficiency has been linked to many mood disorders.
Oranges – Citrus in general is rich in vitamin C and the bright colors do wonders for mood too.
Strawberries – These berries are rich in vitamin C too, and the sweet flavor will convince your brain that you are eating a treat, even though they are low in calories.
Red Peppers – Red peppers are one of the richest sources of vitamin C.
Mushrooms – Mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight contain vitamin D, a vitamin that has been linked to combatting depression. Get plenty of sunshine too to keep your vitamin D levels at optimal.
Brown Rice – This healthy grain contains plenty of fiber, complex carbohydrates, omega 3s, B6, and selenium.
Garlic – Garlic is another rich source of selenium.
Tart Cherries – Cherries are one of the few foods that contain a decent amount of melatonin, a neurotransmitter associated with circadian rhythms and sleep.
Once your food is in line, then you will find it easier to achieve inner peace, no matter the direction you take to get there. If you don’t know where to start, look into prayer, meditation, tai chi, yoga, acupressure, acupuncture, breathing exercises, or simply choosing to look at the world through calmer, happier tinted glasses and letting go of stress.Learn more about Charlie Pulsipher
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