For low carb foods to make you happy, they need to be the right kind. If you’re reading this and thinking about things like ice cream, cookies or sweet rolls as foods that make you feel good, that is not where we’re going. Also, we’re not talking about low carb foods that are imitations of high carb foods and usually lack any real nutrition.
To understand precisely what we’re discussing, let’s take a look at how certain nutrients effect the brain, the nervous system and your overall mood. Then, you'll have a better understanding of how certain low carb foods can be good for happy, healthy moods.
Let’s say you’ve got an important business presentation and you're nervous about standing up in front of a group of your peers. Which of these would you choose to calm your anxiety?
A. A diet soda
B. A glass of milk
C. A handful of Gummy Bears
D. A low carb drink
Believe it or not, C is a correct answer if you want a quick fix that’s not really very good for you and it certainly does not qualify as low carb. However, D, a low carb drink is the best choice. This is because liquids are digested more rapidly and absorbed right away. If your low carb drinks are made with natural ingredients, including whole foods with complexcarbohydrates, then you will gain the most calming effect and the greatest rewards..
If you thought a glass of milk was the best choice for relaxing, you should know that mixing protein with carbohydrates, even in low carb foods, reduces the carbohydrate’s calming properties. So, next time you are eating a high carb cereal, don’t put milk on it if you want to feel less anxious as you get ready to face the day.
Drinking a diet soda with artificial sweeteners is the worst choice you could make. Low carb foods and drinks that contain aspartame and saccharin do anything but calm the brain and nervous system. Avoiding these chemical ingredients in low carb foods or drinks is always a good idea, but especially if you are trying to relax.
An ancient Chinese proverb states, “In times of stress, sweeten the tea”. Our ancestors commonly consumed a spoonful of honey before bed to induce restful sleep. This may run contrary to the popular opinion that sugar gives you quick energy. Instead, recent research suggests that, “all carbohydrates, including sugar and starches have the opposite effect on most ordinary people” (Food-Your Miracle Medicineby Jean Carper-Harper Collins Publishers-1993). There are numerous experiments that show carbohydrates to be more like mild tranquilizers than pick-me-ups. This could be why some people who strive to eat only low carb foods have a harder time falling asleep than those who do not.
How some high carb foods act as sedatives, according to experts, could be due to complicated biochemical reactions. One theory is that carbs clear the way for the brain to receive more tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted into serotonin. Now, researchers are learning more about the ability of serotonin to act as a calming chemical in the brain and nervous system. That’s why you hear about people with low serotonin levels developing greater stress. If you are eating low carb foods on a regular basis and feeling some nervousness or overly revved up energy this could be the reason.
The bottom line is that when you want to calm down, you have choices. You can eat high carb foods like potatoes, pasta, breads and other starches that are not all that good for the body, or you can consume concentrated low carb foods that are perfectly balanced. Not only will your brain and nervous system enjoy quick anxiety reduction, your body will absorb complex carbohydrates it can use for long lasting energy. Unfortunately, most artificial low carb foods are lacking in complex carbs. So, avoid the fake foods that are low carb imitations of high carb foods and stay out of the low carb junk food aisle.
Author Cliff Smith is one of the owners of this online health food store that specializes in all natural low carb foods, drinks and snacks not sold in other stores. His natural weight loss plan and his research on these topics offers hope for those who have tried everything else.
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