Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Mood Food

Posted May 26, 2009

Can certain foods make you feel better? Please weigh in on that question as you prepare to weigh yourself tomorrow. Yes, Wednesday is weigh day. I started the Ten Pounds Down Diet Challenge at 184 pounds. So my goal is to reach at least 183 pounds tomorrow and I’m feeling pretty good about it. But maybe it’s the banana talking.

I rarely eat bananas but I had one yesterday and it almost instantly helped improve my mood. So I ate another banana this morning. Same effect. I read that perhaps the tryptophan in bananas helps elevate a person’s mood and the magnesium in the fruit can reduce anxiety.

Mark Roberts used to eat a banana every morning and he was almost always upbeat. So, maybe there is something to it on a chemical level. Any thoughts? I guess you can have too much of a good thing. Colleague Kelcey Carlson had a college friend who broke out in hives after eating a bunch of bananas.

What about other foods that make you feel upbeat? I’ve heard that chocolate has a soothing effect. What about your thoughts?

For those participating in our ten week plan to shed ten pounds please weigh yourself first thing tomorrow morning and let us know how you’re doing. We’re all in this together. We will make it happen!


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  • tennispro May 27, 2009

    bananas do have alot of sugar but eating one a day and mixing other fruits is ok as long as you are exercising. This info is from my daughter who is studying nutrition. I eat one almost every day. banana sandwiches are hard to beat with some peanut butter!!

  • no more - no less May 26, 2009

    The best afternoon treat is an ice cold Coca-Cola and a Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds candy bar.

  • patti3 May 26, 2009

    Careful, Bill. Your diet won't let you eat to many bananas. They're full of sugar and fattening. Diabetics should not eat more than half of a banana.

  • thefensk May 26, 2009

    Chocolate is the one I hear most about. Some chemical component that is akin to the chemical released by the brain when you are in love, something like that.

    But part of the mood thing is just blood chemistry and insulin levels I think. That is the same sort of thing that fuels hunger too.

    I say this because with our kids, especially with one son, he'd always get really cranky when he was hungry. He's 36 and that is still the case. It wasn't a case of what food, but just get him something to eat, please.

    Another myth I'd like to hear comments on is: is there something to the myth that you sometimes crave foods your body really needs. This might be akin to your banana experience. Maybe you were low on something the banana provided.

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