A Healthy You: The Secret to a Happier, Healthier You

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Cindy Gates new

By Cindy Gates

Say Thanks!

Yes this simple gratitude is a major health boost. Studies show that a regular practice of gratitude can yield major health benefits ranging from lower heart risk to possibly even a longer life.

Saying grace before a meal actually helps you make better choices. The simple ritual of expressing gratitude can help you feel happier and avoid mindless munching. When you focus on being thankful for your food, you are more likely to pick healthier options.

Some foods can also give you a feel good boost:

  • Spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens are full of carotenoids which is a class of nutrients linked to heightened feelings of optimism.
  • Mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D. Vitamin D can help with seasonal affective disorder.
  • Beets are high in the B vitamins that wards off fatigue and insomnia.
  • Cinnamon enhances mood by improving the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Cinnamon may also help wake up a sleepy brain.
  • Green tea drinkers have been found to have a lower level of stress due to theanine which may have a calming effect.
  • Oats help stimulate the body’s level of feel good hormone-serotonin.

Refocus your fitness. Studies show that people who routinely expressed gratitude exercised 33% more per week than those that were not thankful

Prepare for the hard times. It’s easy to be thankful when everything is going your way but what happens when you are hit with challenges or hard times. Gratitude can actually energize you during a crisis.

Share your thankfulness. People perceived as grateful tend to have more friendships and enjoy deeper relationships.

A Healthy You is a regular column about nutrition, healthy living and cancer care. It is written by Cindy Gates, RD and LD and the Cancer Center’s Oncology dietitian, herbalist and Certified Wellness Coach.

Post by Robin McGinty

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