Top ten comfort bites to lift up your health and spirits

The next time when you feel hungry between meals, here are few snacking options that you could consider, without having to fear about piling up those kilos. These mood foods are believed to both pep us up, and do wonders to our general health, and are therefore considered healthy snacking options.

Green Vegetables: Green veggies have a lot to offer in terms of health benefits. Broccoli is packed with Vitamin B and folic acid. It offers relief from stress, enhances mood with regard to anxiety, panic, depression and other emotional disorders. Green veggies are rich in potassium which helps immensely in calming ones nerves when stressed. A diet rich in green veggies also helps the body feel lighter. The best way of consuming green veggies as snacking option is to make it a part of your salad.

Oranges: Oranges, apart from being a rich source of vitamin C, also contain anti-oxidants in plenty, thereby preventing formation of free radials causing cell damage. A stressed body releases more free radicals. The vitamin C content in oranges protects the body from these harmful effects. Vitamin C is also a proven natural immune system booster.

Asparagus: Asparagus is a rich source of folic acid and contain magnesium, known for their mood-lightening properties. Being low on calories, it has zero fat and cholesterol. The stalks of baby asparagus are tender, crunch and tasty, which makes them an all-time easy and perfect snack.

Apricots: Apricots contain plenty of Vitamin A, and helps prevent formation of free radicals. Further, they are rich in fibre, and therefore aids digestion and relieve constipation. They are a rich source of natural sugars, therefore a handful of dried apricots are bound to keep you happy and healthy, while also satisfying your sweet cravings.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes help bring down stress levels, as they satisfy the bodys craving for sweets and carbohydrates. They are rich in beta-carotene, fibre, and vitamins. They help the body to process carbohydrates gradually, releasing the sugar slowly, thereby satisfying your appetite for quite sometime. Why not try eating roasted, boiled, or mashed sweet potatoes, rather than indulging in rich cheesecakes and pastries?

Yogurt: Apart from being a good source of calcium, protein, and vitamin B12, yogurt also contains many useful bacteria. It aids digestion and offers relief from mild stomach infections, if any. For those of you with a sweet tooth, try adding a spoon of honey to yogurt, it will satisfy your sweet craving, and will boost your immune system and keep you healthy.

Fish: It is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and Vitamin B12, an important component for producing serotonin, also known as the happy hormone. A good reason to eat fish is the plenty of essential Omega-3 fatty acids that it offers, as our bodies are incapable of producing sufficient amounts of them.

Nuts: Several nuts like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts are packed with nutrients and vitamins. The almonds are known to contain serotonin, Vitamin E, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and anti-oxidants that improve the immune system. These crunch nuts are also known to be effective stress-busters.

Dark Chocolate: Contrary to the common belief, dark chocolates are loaded with chemicals that improve moods, similar to those found in marijuana, although in smaller quantities. Dark chocolates are particularly good, as they contain higher percentage of cocoa and less sugar, than regular milk chocolates. The anti-oxidants and flavonoids present in them, help reduce blood clot formation, heart diseases and cancer. However, take care to eat only in moderation.

Water: Although, water is not considered a food item or snack, it helps in smooth functioning of the body. Drinking plenty of it is essential in maintaining healthy skin, hair and eyes. Even a simple issue such as insufficient water intake could be the underlying cause for your stress issues. Also note that drinking water can temporarily make you feel full, and keeps you away from unhealthy snacking.