Diana Anderson-Tyler said:
Meat loaf, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese are all considered classic comfort foods. But eating unhealthily while you’re grieving or struggling with recurring sadness will only exacerbate gloomy emotions. Try to limit refined carbohydrates, such as white breads, crackers and regular pasta. Concentrated sugars from soda, juice, sugar and other sweets cause your blood sugar to spike rapidly and then plummet quickly.
Also avoid trans fats. Preliminary research has found a link between trans-fatty acid intake and biological changes that lead to depression. It’s believed these unhealthy fats cause inflammatory responses in your body that can interfere with mood-boosting neurotransmitters. Notorious for including many trans fats in their menu items are fast-food restaurants. Other sources include margarine, soups like Ramen noodles, baked goods like doughnuts, gravy mixes and salad dressings.
The Bible says that in whatever we do, whether eating or drinking, rejoicing or mourning, we’re to do it for God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31). So if a neighbor brings you a dozen glazed doughnuts—with sprinkles!—to “cheer you up,” enjoy in moderation, but don’t look to your favorite tasty treats for relief.
Below are a few foods that truly can bring comfort:
- Dark chocolate. Yes, it’s true! A recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacologyfound that just a few ounces of it can result in a better mood by stimulating the production of endorphins. Just don’t overdo it or you may be sad all over again because you’ve gained a few pounds!
- Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is another great go-to because of its commendable calcium content. Proper calcium levels alert your body to release feel-good neurotransmitters.
- Honey. As most of us know, overdoing it on sugar releases harmful free radicals in our bodies. Even though honey is sweet like sugar, it’s full of beneficial compounds like quercetin and kaempferol that help clean up free radicals and reduce inflammation. Inflammation has negative effects on the brain, which can cause us to feel depressed.
“But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (Ps. 81:16, ESV).
Other mood-elevating foods include eggs, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and Swiss chard.
I pray these tips are helpful to you and that you always remember that the Lord is near to the broken-hearted (Ps. 34:18).