Healthy Breakfast Choices for Beating Depression
Four simple rules could turn your breakfast into a cravings crusher, pound shedder, and mood booster.
It's all about timing and balance, according to Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons, author of Potatoes, Not Prozac.
One, Two, Three, Four . . .
Here are DesMaisons's four simple rules for using breakfast to counterbalance the biochemical mechanisms behind sugar cravings, obesity, and depression. (Browse her book online.)
- Do it daily. Your goal is to make it a daily, automatic habit. The reward? You can kiss late-day low blood sugar and sugary snack cravings goodbye -- permanently. Learn why some foods are more addictive than others.
- Do it sooner rather than later. For the best results, eat breakfast within an hour or so of waking up -- even if you're not hungry. Morning-time low blood sugar produces a brain chemical designed to mask hunger pangs -- but can cause sugar cravings later in the day. Try these 10 other easy ways to outsmart your appetite.
- Make it complex. We're talking complex carbohydrates here (whole-grain cereals, steel-cut oats, high-fiber fruits, etc.) The fiber keeps blood sugar on an even keel and helps you feel full longer.
- Power it with protein. Protein slows digestion, helps prevent spikes and dips in blood sugar, and can even give you a dose of depression-fighting tryptophan. DesMaisons recommends that you get a third of your daily protein at breakfast. (How much protein do you need each day? Find out with this tool.)
Potatoes, Not Prozac. DesMaisons, K., New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008.