Good news! Not all comfort foods are bad for us. Yes you read that right! Traditionally, comfort foods are things we should be indulging in only once in a while, and which often leave us feeling guilty after we eat them — like mac n cheese, deep dish pizza or a basket of cheesy fries. These may be good for our moods (at the time at least), but not for our waistlines, hearts, blood pressure, and more. But what if there were superfood comfort foods that were good for both your moodand your health? Better yet, these “super comfort foods” can easily be used as a substitute for other ingredients in some of your favorite comfort food recipes to make them a little healthier.
So, get excited because here are seven super comfort foods that will nourish your soul, body and mood!
7 Super Comfort Foods That are Good For the Mood & Waistline
While not as commonly viewed as a superfoodor comfort food, oysters are a savory mood-boosting food, and a well-known aphrodisiac. Aside from that, they also pack in a healthy dose of zinc, which is great for anxiety relief, as well as a variety of other mood-boostingnutrients. Afew oysters a day really can keep mood swings away. So, go ahead and eat some oysters regularly — just make sure they’re cooked, since raw oysters can come with some health risks. You can bake them and enjoy them with some marinara sauce for a delicious comfort food dish.
#2 Wild-caught Salmon
Salmon happens to be one of the few goodfood sources ofvitamin D, and vitamin D plays an important role in supporting overall mood. Not getting enough vitamin D has been linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a condition in which depressive symptoms start in the darker months when we aren’t getting as much sunlight. Another benefit is that salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids making it a great superfood to help reduce inflammation and even support a healthy weight. Try enjoying salmon a couple of times per week, and stick to wild-caught if possible.
Spirulina, also known as blue green algae is a powerfulsuperfood that may be able to help support weight loss. It’s incredibly nutrient-dense and boasts a ton of nutritional value with very few calories. One study found that spirulina may be able to help support a healthy metabolism. It’s also a great source of iron to help prevent anemia, which can cause fatigue and low mood. So, try adding spirulina to yourdaily green smoothie, or whip up your favorite comfort food guacamole and add a half a teaspoon of spirulina for an added boost.
#4 Dried Cremini Mushrooms
Mushrooms are having a moment in the nutrition scene as more people are jumping on the medicinal mushroom bandwagon. While not considered a medicinal mushroom, dried cremini mushrooms still make a great addition to a healthy diet to help boost overall mood while also supporting a healthy weight. These mushrooms are rich in B6, which is an important vitamin for making serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps prevent depression and elevate mood. And, B6 deficiencies have also been directly linked to depression, so adding some cremini mushrooms to your diet is a great way to boost your intake and your mood.
They also make a great addition to many comfort food dishes. Try making a healthier version of baked ziti with lentil pasta, marinara sauce, a handful of kale, and some cremini mushrooms.
Chickpeas are aplant-based protein andfiber-rich superfood that is great for both mood support and a healthy waistline. You can make roasted chickpeas for a savory snack to pack in a healthy dose ofmagnesium, which is a super important mineral for mood support. Not getting enough has been linked to depression and anxiety.
If you’re looking for a newhealthy snack option, consider enjoying a handful of cashews to boost your zinc intake and support a better mood. Plus, cashews are another great source of magnesium, which is important for regulating the metabolism of fat. So, go ahead and enjoy a handful with a side of low sugar fruit like blueberries or raspberries. They make for the perfect weight-supporting and mood-boosting snack.
These small but mighty seeds pack in some serious plant-based omega-3 fatty acids to help support a healthy weight,reduce inflammation, and support overall mood. Flaxseeds are super easy to add to your diet. You can sprinkle some over a bowl of oatmeal or over a cup of unsweetened full-fat coconut or almond milk yogurt. Or, simply blend some flaxseeds into yoursmoothie.
Important Tip: Stick to ground flaxseeds so that all the nutrients can be easily absorbed. Don’t have ground flaxseeds? Just grab your coffee grinder and grind up whole flaxseeds and viola you have ground flaxseeds ready to enjoy!
Boost Your Mood, Shrink Your Waistline
The foods you eat have the ability to nourish your body, boost your mood, andsupport a healthy weight and waistline. However, it’s important to stick to a clean and wholesomediet full of anti-inflammatory foods. The better you eat, the better your mood, and the easier it will be to maintain a healthy waistline.
So, next time you head to the grocery store, add these mood-boosting and weight supporting super comfort foods to your grocery list. Try to add at least one into your diet each day, and see how they make you feel! You may find that many of these superfoods mix really well into some of your favorite comfort foods recipes making them much healthier. So give them a try, your mood and waistline will thank you for it.