DONATE
FOR PHYSICIANS
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
ETHICAL RESEARCH & EDUCATION
MEDIA CENTER
LEGISLATIVE FOCUS
CLINICAL RESEARCH
EDUCATIONAL LITERATURE
MEMBERSHIP
SHOP

Connect with Us

 

 

The Physicians Committee



NEWS RELEASE December 6, 2005

Doctors Offer Five Mood-Boosting Tips for the Holiday Season

Beat the Blues and Fight Stress with Low-Fat Vegetarian Foods

WASHINGTON—If you’re feeling down this December, grab a carrot instead of a candy cane. The doctors and nutritionists at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) offer five tips for eating right during the holiday season to combat stress and depression.

“This time of year can be stressful, and many people make the mistake of turning to sugary or fatty junk foods for comfort,” says Tim Radak, DrPH, R.D., associate nutrition director at PCRM. “But low-fat vegetarian foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the best mood-boosters during the holiday season.” 

Five tips to boost your mood:

1. Favor Fiber and Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates cause the brain to produce more serotonin, a hormone that relaxes us. Also, a diet high in fiber fills you up and helps prevent late-night binging. Some examples of healthy comfort foods include baked sweet potatoes, minestrone soup, or sautéed vegetables over rice.

2. Load up on Fruits and Vegetables

Chronic stress can weaken our ability to fight disease. By upping our intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, we can boost our immune system. Acorn squash and carrots are examples of great sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Citrus fruits provide plenty of vitamin C, another stress-busting antioxidant.

3. Fight the Fat

Fatty foods such as meat or cheese dishes contribute to making us feel lethargic as the body metabolizes the excess fat and calories. This is clearly not a good way to reduce stress. And some studies have found that even one high-fat meal can increase our risk of a heart attack.

4. Skip the Sugar

Sugar tends to calm us—at first. The problem with sugar is that it's a simple carbohydrate, so it enters and leaves the bloodstream rapidly, causing us to, in effect, “crash.” On the other hand, the complex carbohydrates found in pasta, beans, and lentils soothe without bringing us down.

5. Can the Caffeine

Many of us deal with a stress-induced lack of sleep by turning to coffee, tea, and colas. Unfortunately, for some people, caffeine stays in the bloodstream longer than many realize and tends to rev up our metabolism, making us reach for more food. Cutting back on caffeine can also help with both sleeping problems and the jitters.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.



Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey
202-527-7316
jeannem@pcrm.org

Mail Options:
Subscribe to PCRM’s news release distribution list

Unsubscribe from PCRM’s news release distribution list


2014 Archive

2013 Archive

2012 Archive

2011 Archive

2010 Archive

2009 Archive

2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive

2004 Archive

2003 Archive

2002 Archive

2001 Archive

2000 Archive

 
This site does not provide medical or legal advice. This Web site is for informational purposes only.
Full Disclaimer | Privacy Policy

The Physicians Committee
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
Phone: 202-686-2210     Email: pcrm@pcrm.org