Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Feelgood Foods

Given that both medical studies and anecdotal testimonials have proven the indispensability of “feelgood foods”, will they ever replace harmful drugs like heroin?

By: Ringo Bones

The unforeseen side-effects of the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” has been the availability of cheap and almost clinically pure acetyl morphine – otherwise known as heroin – in most metropolitan cities across the Western world. And yet this problem has no plans of going away anytime soon. Nowadays it is often 600 times purer when compared to the smack that’s available when Black Sabbath’s Supernaut was still in continuous airplay in Rock FM across America. But for those who know better than to acquire a risky and unhealthy habit can always try feelgood foods as a safe way into a better mood.

Studies into feelgood foods first appeared in medical journals as far back as the early 1980’s when it was observed in various drug rehab clinics that some foods can lessen adverse drug withdrawal symptoms. Which also happen to be the same foods that can give us a good mood or a feelgood factor and the evidence had been accumulating over the years.

Gary Small, author of The Memory Bible used the data of on-going studies of feelgood foods – also known as comfort foods - in order to compile a list of foods that can improve our memory and recall abilities. Feelgood foods have been shown to have positive physiological effects on our brains by lessening the impact of brain aging and future memory decline in recent medical studies.

Omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in fish such as salmon, trout, anchovies, and even in shellfish has been found to improve neural communication between nerve cells by maintaining the fluidity of their cell membranes. While antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables helps our body get rid of free radicals – i.e. unstable oxygen molecules – agents that are the main cause of memory loss.

Choline found in eggs, milk, beef, liver, and peanuts are very helpful in improving our brain’s memory storage capacity. And may – under on-going research – improve the development of brain function of a developing fetus when imparted to an expectant mother’s dietary routine. Carbohydrates found in fresh fruits and whole grains are a safe way of increasing the brain’s serotonin levels without resorting to the use of illegal and highly dangerous psychotrophic drugs. They also increase blood sugar levels, which indirectly regulates a group of neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Alcohol – i.e. potable ethyl alcohol or ethanol – commonly found in wine and spirits, when taken in moderation, has been shown in preliminary studies to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Even a single glass a day is enough to show significant benefits. And like alcohol – which used to be classified as an “indulgence” with nary a nutrient or health benefits, chocolates are now praised for their antioxidant content and the feelgood factor that they can contribute to our body and mind. With the conscientious choice of foods, you can have a feelgood mindset without resorting to the unnecessary and unwarranted use of psychoactive pharmaceuticals.

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