Monday, September 26, 2011
Feeling Cranky? Hunger May Be the Reason
New research by University of Cambridge researchers suggests that the commonly held notion that hunger can cause crankiness may indeed be true. The study, which appeared in the journal Biological Psychiatry, found that when participants' diets were manipulated, levels of serotonin in the brain fluctuated.
The researchers think that these changes in serotonin levels are responsible for weaker communication between parts of the brain, and thus impacted participants' emotional responses to stimuli. The link between diet and emotion may be particularly true for individuals who already have a tendency to be aggressive.
The bottom line? To feel your best and prevent mood swings, don't skip meals! Be sure to also include complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, in your diet. Although avoiding carbs altogether is a popular diet trend, it is important to eat whole grains to keep energy levels high. Complex carbs are thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain, thereby improving your mood and helping you feel good throughout the day.
Try this recipe for Stir Fried Brown Rice with Poblano Chiles and Edamame, adapted from the New York Times' Recipes for Health:
2 fresh poblano chiles
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp peanut or canola oil
4 large eggs, beaten
salt to taste
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped scallions
4 cups cooked brown rice (2 cups uncooked)
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen edamame
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper
1. Roast the poblano chiles over an open flame, turning often until uniformly charred. Place in a bowl, cover tightly and allow to cool. Remove the charred skins, rinse briefly if necessary and pat dry. Cut in half, remove seeds and membranes, and cut into 2-inch strips. Set aside near your wok or skillet.
2. Beat two of the eggs in a bowl, and season to taste with salt. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and swirl in the pan to distribute evenly. Carefully pour in the eggs. Cook for about 30 seconds or until the eggs set, tilting the pan so that the eggs spread out into a thin pancake. Once the pancake is set and beginning to color, flip it over with a spatula and allow to cook for 5 seconds. Remove to a cutting board and roll up the pancake. Cut into thin strips and set aside. Repeat with the other 2 eggs.
3. Add the remaining oil to the wok, and then the ginger, garlic, and scallions. Stir-fry 10 seconds. Add the rice, roasted poblano strips, and edamame. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the egg strips, cilantro, soy sauce, salt to taste, and pepper. Stir-fry another 30 seconds to combine. Remove from heat and serve!
Posted by SOSMentor at 12:32 PM