A number of lifestyle factors can contribute to depression, but one that’s often overlooked is what you put in your mouth. “Diet plays a huge role in depression,” says with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine.
Do you crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods when you’re feeling blue? You’re not alone. But, says Dr. Calapai “If we eat better foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, we short-circuit the junk food cravings and have higher energy levels and sharper mental focus.
Vitamin D (sun exposure; fortified breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk):
Vitamin D is required for brain development and function. Deficiency of this “sunshine vitamin” is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders.
“Smart” Carbs Can Have a Calming Effect
Carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Experts aren’t sure, but carb cravings sometimes may be related to low serotonin activity. Choose your carbs wisely. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart or “complex” carbs (such as whole grains) rather than simple carbs (such as cakes and cookies). Fruits, vegetables, and legumes also have healthy carbs and fiber.
Tryptophan (protein sources including turkey, beef, eggs, some dairy products, dark, leafy greens):
An amino acid, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. It’s not well understood, but low tryptophan seems to trigger depressive symptoms in some people who have taken antidepressants.
Increase your intake of B vitamins
People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid), are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. In a study comparing the effects of giving an SSRI with either a placebo or with folic acid, 61% of patients improved on the placebo combination but 93% improved with the addition of folic acid.
Boost your serotonin with amino acids
Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is then converted into another amino acid called 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. 5-HTP is found in high levels in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. Just not getting enough tryptophan is likely to make you depressed; people fed food deficient in tryptophan became rapidly depressed within hours.
Up your intake of chromium
This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. In fact, it turns out that just supplying proper levels of chromium to people with atypical depression can make a big difference.
Select Selenium-Rich Foods
Studies have reported a link between low selenium and poor moods. The recommended amount of selenium is 55 micrograms a day for adults. The evidence isn’t clear that taking supplements can help. And it’s possible to get too much selenium. So it’s probably best to focus on foods:
Caffeine and Sugary Foods
Caffeine may be difficult for many people to completely eliminate from their diet. However, it is good to only have caffeinated drinks in moderation, particularly when you are experiencing depression-like symptoms. Caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel anxious, both of which won’t help your depression. People who drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee, should consider cutting back.
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S.
His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s.
Dr. Calapai started his practice in New York City in 1986 and for over 25 years he has hosted nationally syndicated radio shows, including his two weekly call-in shows on WABC 770-AM, where he offers health and medical advice. He has a show on Saturday morning 8-9am and Sunday evening from 6-7pm. He has consulted with numerous high-profile individuals including Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham’s, Donal Logue and worked as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers hockey team as well as various modeling agencies.
Dr. Calapai received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and he consults in Manhattan with practices on Long Island, in East Meadow and Plainview. He has appeared on News12 and in the pages of 25A Magazine and Social Life Magazine.
He is the author of E-books Heavy Metals and Chronic Disease, Reverse Diabetes Forever! Seven Steps to Healthy Blood Sugar, Top Ten Supplements You Can’t Live Without, and Glorious Glutathione. Learn more about Dr. Calapai on his website: www.drcal.net
****Shared with permission****
When the summer time rolls around, our house grows in size. How? We’re away from the Pacific Northwest rainy season and can head out to the backyard to enjoy the sunshine and shade! Our kitchen takes a bit of a break and our grill comes out from under it’s “rain coat”. It’s grilling season! Johnsonville has expanded from their sausage line to include delicious, marinaded chicken kabob’s that are gluten-free and all natural. Just heat up the grill and cook! With Johnsonville Kabobs our summer meals are tastier and easier. (It’s Summer time… the livin’ is supposed to be easy, right? ). Check out my recipe below.
Johnsonville Kabobs come in 4 varieties; Lemon & Herb, Teriyaki, Sweet BBQ and Sweet Chili and Lime. Made with all-natural chicken breast, these kabobs are a smart choice for a healthy, flavorful meal. I’ve chosen to the go with the Sweet Chili and Lime Chicken for my first Johnsonville outing. Here’s my recipe for Johnsonville Sweet Chili and Lime Chicken w/ Cayenne Mangoes and Sauteed Bell Peppers.
Alright, if I wasn’t hungry before, I sure am now! Happy grilling!
(**Disclosure I received product to conduct my review and financial compensation for my time & effort to create this post for you. My words, and thoughts, are completely my own.)
The Love Cooking Company is helping us create fun baked goods with their innovative line of bakeware. I am so happy I was able to try out a selection from their line through my participation with US Family Guide.com. Let’s check out the Mini Caramel Apples Pies I created with the Mrs. Field’s Mini Cupcake Pan!
I decided to take the designated design of the mini cupcake pan in a different direction and see what else it was up for! How about a Mini Caramel Apple Pie! With the help of new caramel bits, this made my idea slightly easier to prepare. (The Cutie Cakes Cupcake Pan creates treats that are about as big as a quarter, so you might need to get your glasses 🙂 ).
I chose a ready made pie crust and found a small juice glass to be just about right to cut the pastry shell. Form the shell into the tin.
Once removed from the oven place them on a rack to cool for a few moments. And hey… you know what tastes great with Caramel Apple Pie? Vanilla ice cream! Grab a little bowl, place a few cute mini caramel apple pies in and add a dollop of ice cream. Yum!
This bakeware has proven to be very easy to work with, even baking on the bottom and sides, and easy to clean. And you need to check out their various designs! A Mini Doughnut Pan (no deep-frying necessary), Bake ‘N Stuff Cupcake Pan, Mrs. Field’s “Brookie” Pan (a brownie and crunchy cookie in one! Yes please!!). There are SO many options that I’m sure you’ll find something to help you create delicious treats and new family favorites.
If you would like to try the bakeware offerings from Love Cooking Company I have a special 10% off code for my lovely readers! Please visit LoveCookingCompany.com and upon check-out enter code: LOVE10
(*Disclosure: I received bakeware in exchange for my honest review through my partnership with USFamilyGuide.com. My opinions are truthfully my own.*)
Are vegetables a bit of a challenge for your kid(s)? Or you? They are good for the body and brain, you know that. Your children have heard it many times and so have you. But, somehow, vegetables are still a challenge during meal times. Check out the following information on the importance of vegetables in our diet along with a cool recipe – “Sneaky Mac and Cheese”. Let me know what you think!
Not all Americans have easy access to fresh vegetables. But that shouldn’t stop them from eating these delicious offerings and getting their necessary vitamins and nutrients! According to the 2016 “Canned Vegetable Nutrients Study” — a dietary analysis of 24,000 Americans conducted by Dr. Marjorie Freedman (of San Jose State University) in association with the CFA — canned food carries nearly identical nutrients to its fresh-cooked counterparts. They are also a cheaper and an easier way to get recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies — which can lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
* 94% of American adults are not eating enough fruits and vegetables
* Adults who eat canned produce eat 17% more vegetables and 19% more fruit than those who don’t
* Adults who eat canned produce consume 7% more dietary fiber and 5% more potassium than those who don’t
* Canned produce includes low-sodium options and non-GMO veggies like Del Monte Blue Lake Cut Green Beans
These nutritional benefits affect our kids, too:
* 9 in 10 kids don’t eat enough vegetables and 6 in 10 kids don’t eat enough fruit
* Kids who eat canned produce eat 22% more vegetables and 14% more fruit than those who don’t
* Kids who eat canned produce consumed more protein, fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium (but less fat)
I’m sure your kid(s) will never believe there’s a vegetable hidden in this creamy, cheesy comfort food. Wholesome, puréed white beans and carrots contribute to the sauce’s creaminess.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
3 cups College Inn® Fat Free & Lower Sodium Chicken Broth
8 oz. dry pasta, such as whole grain elbows or rotini
1 can (14.5oz.) Del Monte® Sliced Carrots, drained
½ cup milk
1 can (15.5 oz.) white or cannellini beans, drained
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Salt and black pepper, optional
VARIATION: To make Sneaky Mac & Cheese Muffins, prepare as recipe directs, except line 18 medium muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Spoon about 1/3 cup of prepared mac and cheese into each cup and bake at 350°F until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let me know what you think about this recipe! What ways do you try to incorporate more vegetables into your child’s (or heck, even your!) diet?
(*Disclaimer: Shared with permission by Cody Pittman – Del Monte Publicist.)
Love Cooking Company has set out with a mission to make baking a simple task. Partnered with some great names in the baking and entertainment industries, Love has crafted bakeware that helps you easily achieve the best-looking baked goods on the table, from filled cakes to bite-size desserts and more.
The PushPan is a 100% watertight and leak-proof cake pan with a patented silicone-lined removable base making it perfect for cheesecakes, pies and more! An alternative to a spring-form pan, you simply place the pan on something sturdy, press the sides down, and voila – the perfect cake! The PushPan also comes with a 25 year warranty.
The Mrs. Fields Cutie Cakes pan creates 48 bite-size cakes when you need a small amount of something sweet. It’s ideal for savory options, like mini corn dogs or potato pancakes. After you create your tiny treats, just pop the pan in the dishwasher.
The Mrs. Fields Fill N Flip is the easiest way to make a layered cake and create a surprise center that everyone will love. Once you bake your cake, add filling to the side with the large opening, place the non-filled layer on top, and enjoy! Plus, the pan is dishwasher-safe, making clean-up a breeze.
My lovely readers of Ann Again and again Reviews receive 10% off your entire order! Love Cooking is inviting you to take 10% off your entire order on lovecookingcompany.com with the promo code LOVE10. For a limited time only.
For details, and your 10% discount offer, go to: http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=12246&dealid=2092 .@usfg
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(*Disclaimer: As a member of US Family Guide I am able to provide this information and this special discount code.)
Each year my family gathers for a feast to celebrate Easter. And although certain foods are favorites and just have-to-have’s it’s fun to offer something different every once in a while. You never know, it could become the new “favorite”. If you’re looking for a new dish to bring to your Easter feast check out the recipes Del Monte has created to complement your ham, lamb or salmon main dish. Quick and easy, they’re #10MinuteWow dishes!
Cheddar Corn Casserole is Del Monte’s most popular Easter side dish recipe. This is a #10MinuteWow dish – less than 10 minutes to prepare and goes perfectly with Ham. With it’s blend of sweet corn, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon you won’t believe how good this tastes! Check out the recipe here: Cheddar Corn Casserole
Panko bread crumbs and fresh lemon give these green beans a great taste and would make a great pairing with Salmon. Check here for the recipe for Lemon-Garlic Green Beans with Crispy Crumbs.
If you are serving lamb check out the ideas Del Monte shares for peas with Peas 5 Ways. Peas with chopped mint and sweet, shredded carrots complement lamb nicely.
Do you have an Easter dish that’s a family favorite? I’d love to get your recipe! I’ve been working on perfecting a lemon bar recipe that’s getting a positive response so I think I’ll be adding this to the dessert table this Sunday.
In order to make your traditional family recipes into healthy dinner recipes, you do not need to rewrite you entire cookbook. Instead, you can opt for the much easier solution of simply substituting the meat in each recipe with a meatless, plant-based alternative. This will allow you to keep a sense of order and continuity in the foods that you and your family eat while also providing healthier options. While there may be resistance at first, the health benefits of a plant-based substitute are such that they are worth the initial hassle. Besides, these alternatives are tasty enough on their own that once your family tries them, there will be little complaint in the future.
No Need to Eliminate Your Favorite Recipes
Perhaps the best part about these plant-based alternatives is that they do not require you to make any major changes to the way you currently prepare dinner. It is often daunting for people to think about making radical changes to their diet because there is such a great deal of unfamiliarity involved. That is not the case with the plant-based substitutes, as they can be used interchangeably in your current meat-based recipes. It will also make it more likely that your family is open to the idea of trying something new, since there will be an already-established sense of familiarity in the dinner option that you present.
We’re 5 months into the year 2014. Did you make a resolution to get fit, or eat healthier this year? I was tired of the tummy flab that was taking over my middle due to menopause (yep, I said it) and I was feeling pretty weak. Enough of that I say! I’m five months into my healthier lifestyle and feel confident I can keep this up. Here are ways to stick to your healthier lifestyle resolution – and a giveaway! Ways that help me stick to my resolution:
With regard to food choices I’m enjoying the taste and long lasting full feeling I get from eating Zone Perfect bars. The taste selection is vast and my girls like them too. We’ve finally tried Quinoa (keen-wha) that we’ve been hearing about but weren’t sure how to pronounce. I really like grains so quinoa works out well for me as a smarter nutritional choice over rice. And now that grill season is here my-oh-my! My husband grilled Cauliflower and added dashes of seasoning salt, black pepper and the juice of one lemon to create a flavor I’ve never had from cauliflower. Absolutely delicious and so much better in the nutrition and calorie category over mashed potatoes. Check out this chart for side dish swap ideas: With my exercising routine, on one hand I’m bummed about the fact that weight is not coming off. I’ve been exercising for 4 months now, 5 to 6 days a week – a mix of cardio and area specific movements – and have lost a whopping 5 lbs. But on the other hand I am so much stronger than I was a month ago, let alone 4 months ago, and that feeling of strength is what I absolutely love about exercising. If weight doesn’t come off, well that’s a drag and it frustrates me, but I won’t stop my workouts because feeling stronger brings me joy and strength and joy is what I want in my life. (Oh and love, of course! and a delightful Pinot Gris ;->)
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From our friends at Woman’s Day come recipes that will take the hit of Tax Day away from our pocket book and give us more with our money. In the May issue of Woman’s Day, now on newsstands nationwide, you can find the most delicious tostadas to make for your hungry family. I have one picky eater that will have me adapting one of these recipes – but it can be done easily and I’m sure you’ll find ways to add your own spin to these recipes as well. You can’t beat the cost per servings for these high protein, healthy dishes. Happy Tax Day! (ugh, did I just type that?!)
Active: 20 MIN, Total: 20 MIN, Serves: 4, Cost Per Serving: $1.35
§ 2 tbsp olive oil
§ 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
§ 1 tsp hot paprika
§ ½ tsp ground cumin
§ ½ tsp chili powder
§ ¼ salt
§ 3 ½ cups shredded chicken
Directions – Part 1
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and fresh lime juice.
2. Slowly stir in the hot paprika, ground cumin, chili powder and salt.
3. Add the chicken and toss to combine for the perfect taste!
Pineapple and Red Onion Relish:
§ 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
§ 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
§ ¼ salt
§ ¼ small pineapple (cored and cut into ½-in pieces)
§ ½ small red onion (thinly sliced)
§ ¼ cup small fresh cilantro leaves
§ 8 tostadas
Directions – Part 2
1. Prepare the chili chicken from above.
2. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the fresh lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt.
3. Add the pineapple and onion and toss to combine.
4. Fold in the cilantro leaves.
5. Lastly, top the tostadas with the chili chicken, the pineapple and the red onion relish.
Active: 15 MIN, Total: 15 MIN, Serves: 4, Cost Per Serving: 92 cents
§ 4 plum tomatoes (cut into ¼-in. pieces)
§ 1 small jalapeño (finely chopped)
§ ½ small red onion (finely chopped)
§ 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
§ ¼ tsp salt
§ ¼ tsp pepper
§ ¼ fresh cilantro
§ 8 tostadas
§ 15-oz can refried beans (warmed)
§ Shredded romaine lettuce
1. To start, toss together in a medium bowl the plum tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. This will serve as your delicious pico de gallo!
2. Fold in the cilantro to add a little kick.
3. Top the tostadas with the refried beans, lettuce and the fresh pico de gallo.
If you have delicious additions to these recipes please share in the comments. I would LOVE to try your suggestions and, I’m sure, our blog friends would to!
(*Disclosure: These recipes were provided by Woman’s Day and are shared with permission.)