5 Healthy Comfort Foods For Bad Days

It’s okay to feel a little sad every now and then. Sadness is part and parcel of being imperfectly human, something that happens to all of us in response to something that may be hurting us. In a way, feeling sad is just a part of our defence mechanism, a way to signal to ourselves (and others) that we need to pull back and take care of ourselves first. Most people will understand that you need the extra time and space to yourself. Some of us even tend to feel a little hungrier whenever we’re sad. At times, this could actually be a sign of something missing in our diet. That’s why, occasionally, it’s alright to let yourself cheat and eat something extra comforting every now and then. Of course, the best way to do it is to cheat wisely. Here’s how you can do it.


Cereal With Bananas

Love cereal? By all means, grab that box of cereal and pour some whenever you feel down. While it’s true that certain cereals contain way too much sugar, there are indeed plenty of other healthier options to choose from. Look closely at the nutritional labels printed on the cereal box and try to choose the ones that contain less sugar and are fortified with other nutrients such as calcium. Research indicates that calcium may be able to lower levels of anxiety and stress, which may be why you’ve been feeling down. High levels of stress can also lead to poor skin health — as if you needed more reasons to feel sad. The right type of cereal can cover around a third of your daily recommended intake of calcium. Pair it with some milk and you’ll be golden.

Better yet, add some bananas to your bowl of cereal. Bananas contain copper in trace amounts, which has been shown to improve your quality of sleep, helping you recover from your terrible day. Besides copper, bananas also contain tryptophan — an amino acid that can help increase your brain’s production of the mood-lifting hormone serotonin. The carbohydrates from both bananas and cereal will be able to help transport tryptophan into your brain, thus further helping you feel a lot better.


Spinach Salad And Salmon

Salads can be comforting, too! Spinach salads, in particular, contain plenty of nutrients, such as B vitamins. Experts believe that there are clear links between some level of vitamin B deficiency with depression since this vitamin plays such a major role in optimal production of serotonin. In fact, all leafy green vegetables are generally rich in B vitamins, giving you plenty of options to choose from if you’re not particularly fond of spinach. Combine your leafy green salad of choice with some salmon to really power up your mood with some omega-3 fatty acids. Like vitamin B, omega-3s are also essential for ensuring sufficient production of serotonin.


Greek Yoghurt With Fruits

Feeling in the mood for some ice cream? Consider a cup of cold Greek yoghurt instead. Greek yoghurt contains healthy probiotics that may be able to help lift your mood by lowering stress or anxiety levels. Although your sadness may not be due to stress, per se, this may still be able to prevent stress and anxiety from prolonging or exacerbating how awful you feel right now anyway. In addition, studies indicate that Greek yoghurt can boost levels of a neurotransmitter, known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), that plays a critical role in promoting calmness and relaxation. Paired with fruits, this cup of positivity might just make you feel better. If you’re not particularly fond of Greek yoghurt’s tartness, make it more palatable with a dash of honey. This way, you’d also be able to reap the anti-inflammatory properties of honey while you’re at it.


Dark Chocolate

Chocolate does, indeed, make us happier. More specifically, research shows that consuming dark chocolate on a daily basis helps with long-term stress management by lowering levels of stress hormones, known as cortisol. Apparently dark chocolate is particularly rich in antioxidants that can combat the effects of stress. Try getting the ones that contain at least 65% cocoa. Dark chocolate is also excellent for combating the effects of premenstrual stress (PMS), such as mood swings and even cramps. If you suspect that PMS might be the reason why you’re feeling so sad, do yourself a favour and buy a block of dark chocolate at once.


Scrambled Eggs And Whole-Grain Toast

If you’re looking for something warm and toasty, look no further than a plate of scrambled eggs. Rich in an abundance of nutrients, eggs have a wonderful way of instantly improving how we feel. This may be due to their high choline content, an essential nutrient that is heavily involved in improving our mood by helping to produce certain mood-lifting neurotransmitters. Pair that plate of scrambled eggs with some whole-grain toast, which can also help vastly improve your mood. Like leafy green vegetables, whole grains contain lots of B vitamins, critical for optimal production of serotonin in our brains. Hopefully, one of these dishes will make you feel a lot better soon.