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Can you eat your way to a confident you?

Posted on August 8, 2011 by Healthyhilary There have been 0 comments

Food to boost confidence

It may sound far-fetched to suggest that there are some foods that can boost your confidence and some that can knock it for six but it seems that feeling good about yourself is more than what is on the outside.
I am sure that many of you could reel off plenty of occasions where you have felt low self-confidence as a result of what you are wearing or walking into a room full of strangers. However there are 3 confidence killers that I know will, at one point or another, have affected us all; weight, mood and energy.
In this article we will delve further into why this happens and the measures that we can take to avoid this, naturally.

Eating too much of the wrong types of food, drinking too much, smoking, not exercising are guaranteed ways to drop your body confidence but why is this?

The science:

When food is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, hormones trigger the release of insulin to help deliver glucose from the food to the cells for energy. Some foods release their glucose molecules readily to the body providing a speedy burst of energy. This may sound great but there is a catch; what comes up must come down and after a short time your body will experience a rapid drop in the level of glucose in the blood, which can leave you feeling tired, lethargic and low again, if not more so than before. If this regularly you will end up exhausted, grumpy, suffering from mood swings, anxious, depressed and with low self esteem. Not to mention the fact that you will most certainly gain weight. Not a pretty picture is it. Luckily there is plenty that you can do to help you feel top-of-the-morning both inside and out.

So how can what can we eat with confidence?

A recent survey conducted by The Mood and Food project found that dietary or dietary changes were found to be beneficial by up to 80% of the 200 subjects surveyed, experiencing substantial improvements in mood and self-esteem (1)

Of those 80%, 80% of participants found that cutting down on sugar and 79% found that cutting down on caffeine played a significant role in boosting their confidence and emotional well being (1)
Positive thinking protein: certain amino-acids within protein have direct effects on our brain chemistry such as the amino acid tryptophan which is converted to serotonin, an important brain chemical that elevates mood and self-esteem.. Turkey and nuts are a rich form of tryptophan where as bananas and avocadoes provide ready made serotonin.
Confidence in carbohydrates: The absorption of tryptophan into the brain is thought to be greatly enhanced by eating carbohydrate-containing helps to avoid the roller coaster ride of energy and moods associated with large fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
Feel fantastic fats are contained in the oil rich fish, nuts and seeds. The brain is over 60% fat. Avoiding all types of fat - in a low fat diet for example - can lead to anxiety and depression and other mental health problems. Polyunsaturated ‘omega 3’ fats are particularly important and these are particularly high in the oily rich fish, nuts and seeds.
Visionary vitamins: Specific vitamins and minerals are essential for emotional and mental health. For example the conversion of the tryptophan is helped by various ‘co-factor’ nutrients such as; Vitamin C found in watercress; Folic Acid found in avocado, lettuce, walnuts; Vitamin B6 found in , avocado, banana, sunflower seeds, walnuts, watercress; Biotin found in corn pasta, oil rich fish, fruit, lettuce; Zinc found in corn pasta, oats, sardines, walnuts.
To increase your body-confidence, you need to take good care of yourself every day. Nurture your body and mind with healthy food, moderate exercise, and adequate sleep. Include the above foods into your diet on a daily basis, eat regularly, drink plenty of water and avoid sugary and caffeine heavy foods and drinks.
Doing things that say "I care about myself" can also be an incredible confidence booster. Try a new haircut, buy a nice item of clothing. Pamper yourself with bubble baths and body scrubs. Compliment yourself and learn to recognize your achievements. Even the smallest of steps will lead to a more positive outlook about your yourself.

1. The Mood and Food Project, Amanda Greary: An exploration of dietary and nutritional self-help strategies used to improve emotional and mental health.

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