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9 Superfoods To Fight Inflammation And Boost Your Mood

9 Superfoods To Fight Inflammation And Boost Your Mood

Food plays a crucial role in not only how our bodies function physically, but also has an impact on our mental health as well. It may be tempting to reach for a packaged snack or fast food dinner; however, the negative outcomes far outweigh the positive. Putting a little effort into what goes into your body has good long-term effects that will keep your body healthy and happy.

Here are nine foods that keep your body both physically and mentally on point.

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    1. Yogurt

    Scientific research shows that yogurt can increase the levels of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for boosting your mood and fighting off bouts of depression. Yogurt is also important for improving gut health, which is important since that is where a majority of the serotonin in your body is found. Improving gut health also allows for less inflammation in your body.

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      2. Turkey

      This lean protein is not only a healthier meat option, but it also contains beneficial chemicals like tryptophan and selenium. Tryptophan produces serotonin, while selenium helps reduce inflammation in your body and minimizes depression.

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        3. Asparagus

        This summertime veggie is a particularly rich source of folic acid and therefore a natural mood booster. This green superfood has been linked to lowering mild depression and boosting energy. Folic acid also has been known to help keep inflammation at bay.

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          4. Dark leafy green vegetables

          Spinach, collard greens, chard, and kale are all great providers of magnesium. This is known to have mood-boosting effects by increasing the levels of serotonin in your body. Magnesium is also known to help decrease inflammation that can be the leading cause of chronic illnesses.

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            5. Roasted cherry tomatoes

            Within the bright red skin of tomatoes is phytonutrient lycopene, which helps with combating inflammatory compounds that are linked to depression. Cherry tomatoes are recommended over regular-sized ones because they are smaller in size and therefore you are likely to eat more, and get provided with more effective anti-inflammatory fighting qualities. Why roast them? According to research, cooked tomatoes increase the lycopene your body will take in during consumption.

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              6. Wild salmon

              Omega-3 fats that are commonly found in salmon are known to prevent depression. The human body cannot produce its own omega-3 fats, so it is crucial to get it from outside food sources in order to maintain overall mental and physical health. These fats also help to minimize low-level inflammation throughout the body and brain.

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                7. Dark chocolate

                Research has proven that dark chocolate (in small doses) can act as an excellent mood booster, as well as improving brain cognition by increasing blood flow to the brain with the flavonols found in this sweet treat. Dark cocoa has been also known to help decrease the stress hormone cortisol, as well as help cut down pro-inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein. 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate 70 percent or higher is the recommended daily amount.

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                  8. Green tea

                  This healthy beverage has been utilized around the world for centuries because of its many healing properties. It is also a great drink to start the morning with or have for a midday energy boost. Green tea has a compound called theanine, which is an amino acid that helps reduce stress and relax muscles. The catechin polyphenols in this tea help with monitoring inflammation throughout the body. It also has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism and increasing your overall energy.

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                    9. Chickpeas

                    Known for its healing properties like tryptophan, folate, and vitamin B6 that help boost your mood and fight inflammation throughout your body. Chickpeas are also known for having the trace mineral manganese that helps with energy production, regulating your metabolism, and providing an antioxidant defense.

                    Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                    • (1) Research
                    • (2) Deciding the topic
                    • (3) Creating the outline
                    • (4) Drafting the content
                    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                    • (6) Revision
                    • (7) etc.

                    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                    2. Change Your Environment

                    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                    6. Get a Buddy

                    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                    Reality check:

                    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                    More About Procrastination

                    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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