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Use the Mediterranean Diet to Feel Happier

By Sandy Schroeder

When we feel sad, anxious or worried, it can affect the way we eat. When I am upset I order more pizzas and eat more burgers and fries, but there are other better answers.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen suggest using the Mediterranean diet to reduce the feelings of depression. According to Oz and Roizen, depression is gaining ground in our society and many of the recommended medications may not solve the problems, but diet changes can help.

Evaluating Depression

Sometimes we are just worried and down, and we manage to rebound on our own when we get work or home issues straightened out. Other times, sadness and anxiety persist as we struggle to work our way through everything.

As the holidays spin ahead, you may feel like you are losing ground with your problems. Day-to-day issues with your family or ongoing projects at work may weigh on you as you cope with the holidays too. Where to start?

How the Mediterranean Diet Can Help

Recent studies have found that adding more fruits, vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil, with lean meats as a side dish, can cut through depressed feelings.  Try this approach.

Make a weekly stop at your local farmers market - Take the family along and pick everyone's favorite fruits and vegetables.

Plan special sit down suppers - Get everyone involved creating menu favorites for friends and family. Kids can help bake breads or fix salads and the main menu might feature black bean burritos, shrimp tacos or veggie lasagna.

Upgrade snacks - Replace all of the pastries, cakes, cookies and chips with fresh fruit, low fat string cheeses, and veggie favorites such as avocados and fresh tomato salsas or garlic hummus.

Avoid office donuts and pizza - Pack your own lunches and snacks to avoid the office party overloads of junk food.

Take charge of holiday buffets - Choose a small plate and stick to the veggie and fruit side dishes. If you are having wine or beer, have a glass of water with each drink.

Try some new recipes - Check sites like Epicurious.com for new avocado, shrimp, or fish and chicken recipes. Pick up a few fruit tart and fruit loaf recipes too.

If you find your anxiety and depression persist in spite of your efforts, see, your doctor and a therapist to work through the issues.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebr.

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