Additive-laced foods are designed to give us that pleasure feeling from their combination of fats, sweetness and added flavours. But more natural alternatives can have a similar effect, and are better in the long run. Let's take a look at a few suggestions from a qualified nutritionist.
University College London experts say eating this helps us feel good, and not just because we see it as a naughty-but-nice treat. Dark Chocolate contains psychoactive ingredients that give us a sense of euphoria, as well as phenylethylamine, which affects nerves and regulates mood, according to the UCL work in the journal Depression and Anxiety.
The study also showed those who regularly ate a small amount (yes, we are not talking a whole whopping bar) of dark chocolate has 70 per cent lower odds of reporting depressive symptoms compared with those who ate none. Eating milk or white chocolate did not affect the odds at all. Chocolate can be high in calories so be careful.
Overnight Nutty Oats
It is common knowledge that porridge is good for you. Oats are packed with soluble fibre that helps to slow digestion, and therefore can help you feel fuller for longer. By keeping blood sugar levels steady in the hours after eating breakfast (sugary cereals will have your sugar levels spiking), we are also more liable to feel emotionally stable and less likely to reach for high calories snacks during the morning - such as biscuits and cakes. You can even prepare your oats overnight in the fridge with milk.
It can also be fun adding fruits or nuts to your porridge. This can improve vitamin and mineral intake, a vital component to help with metabolism. This can help combat tiredness, stress and low mood, and instead help you focus and concentrate better.
Creamy and rich-textured, many foods like this feel good in our mouths providing an instant sense of pleasure when we eat them. Rather than relying on sugar, fat and calorie-rich puddings for this high, creamy Greek Yoghurt can do the job instead.
A 100g serving of Greek Yoghurt gives you around 130-140 calories and, importantly, around a quarter of our daily iodine. This mineral is crucial in keeping our thyroid glands working properly,m and a lack of it can contribute to feeling exhausted and low.
Greek Yoghurt is also packed with probiotics. These are microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, They normally live in your intestines, and having good microorganisms helps keep you healthy. The bad kind can affect your immune system.
A nice cup of tea
Oh Yes. How many of us like to put our feet up with a steaming mug of tea (and maybe a treat biscuit to dunk)? They report that drinking tea is as hydrating as water, which means that regular cuppas throughout the day can help maintain fluid levels.. Remaining hydrated is vital to keeping our good moods.
Tea also gives us a host of plant chemicals. Scientists publishing their work in the journal Phytomedicine discovered that regularly drinking green tea in particular helps to reduce anxiety and improve memory and attention.
Nobody is saying you cannot have sweet treats. But do think about the number you have and the effect it can be having on the insides of your body. There are alternatives that are just as tasty, but far better for your overall health.