Have you felt sleepy, sneezy, grumpy or dopey lately? We’ve all been there. What they didn’t tell you in that famous fairytale is that these dwarfs’ dour dispositions could have been drastically improved with a few good dietary adjustments.
Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer the same fate.
Here are 8 magic foods that will get you feeling great again:
1) Hydrating: Greek Cucumber Yogurt Dip
Cucumbers may have a one up on a tall glass of water when it comes to hydrating and nourishing your body. In addition to being composed of 95 percent water, cucumbers contain calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.
And cucumbers are more than just a salad topper. Try it the Greek way as a cucumber yogurt dip/appetizer known as tzatziki.
This easy dip is made with 12 ounces of yogurt, also a hydration booster, cucumbers, lemon juice, garlic cloves and a dash of paprika. Serve it with pita bread or veggies for a mid-afternoon snack that will aid digestion and rid your body of harmful toxins.
Replenish your fluids and nourish your body with this chilled cucumber yogurt dip. Photo by st_gleam.
2) Calming: Turkey Avocado Panini
Lunching on a turkey avocado panini is the ultimate stress-busting power combo. Turkey contains high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which encourages the production of niacin (B vitamin) and serotonin (neurotransmitter) to make you feel relaxed and calm.
Avocados are rich in glutathione, which help fight free radicals in your body. Combine three ounces of turkey with avocado, provolone cheese slices and fresh spinach leaves on a ciabatta roll for a stress-reducing lunchtime meal.
Let the tryptophan in turkey settle into your system to calm you down on a stressful day. Photo by Gary Soup.
3) Energizing: Quinoa Crispy Puffs
The quinoa seed is small but mighty. As a very rare complete protein, it provides your body with all of the essential amino acids. It’s also high in fiber, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium, all of which serve to keep your energy levels high.
Put a twist on the traditional rice crispy treat by using puffed brown rice and quinoa in place of white rice, and trade in the butter and marshmallows for almond butter, honey and a teaspoon of each coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Serve with a glass of chocolate milk post-workout to replenish your system and keep your energy levels up.
Replace white rice with quinoa for an energy-boosting crispy puff snack. Photo by emma@vanillasplash.
4) Rejuvenating: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Revitalize the largest organ in your body—your skin—by increasing your mushroom intake. Adding portobellos and other mushrooms to your diet will keep blemishes at bay and help your wounds or burns heal faster.
The fungus is a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), which aids in tissue maintenance and repair as well as copper and zinc, which build elastin fibers.
To prepare stuffed portobello mushrooms for dinner, brush the caps with olive oil and let them cook a few minutes, then add plum tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, rosemary, pepper and garlic to taste.
The riboflavin, copper, and zinc found in portobello mushrooms keep blemishes at bay and help heal skin wounds. Photo by claramichelle.
5) Detoxing: Carrot Ginger Soup
Count on carrots to rid your body of harmful toxins. Carrots contain the beta-carotene antioxidant, which is converted to Vitamin A, to help fight diseases and cancers.
Speed up the digestion process by taking carrots in soup form. For additional flavor, add some ginger for digestion and cumin for liver detoxification. A tall glass of water or a cup of dandelion root or red clover tea will further aid in the detox process.
Detox with soup made from carrots, ginger and cumin. Photo by JamesCohen.
6) Uplifting: Dark Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Chocolate lovers rejoice—one little piece of biscotti can pack a big mood-boosting punch. Dark chocolate contains serotonin and stimulates the production of endorphins to give you that extra perk you need when you’re feeling down.
This biscotti also contains unsalted almonds, whole wheat flour and flaxseed, three ingredients packed with plenty of vitamins, fiber and potassium to keep your energy and mood levels up long after your snack is over.
Enjoy one piece with a cup of tea for an afternoon pick-me-up.
This chocolate-covered almond biscotti will boost your endorphin production–and, in turn, your mood. Photo by digiyesica.
7) Focus-Enhancing: Citrus Salmon
Your brain consumes about 20 percent of your daily calorie intake, so finding foods to fuel it is critical to maintaining your concentration and focus.
The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon help enhance learning ability and improve problem-solving skills. In fact, Omega-3s have even been linked with fighting Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders such as ADHD.
Cook a 4-ounce fillet along with onions, tomatoes, olives, orange juice and orange rind to give the salmon a citrus flavor and add some Vitamin C, also a cognitive enhancer, to this dinner dish.
Need to concentrate? The Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C found in this citrus salmon will help you focus. Photo by andyde.
8) Warming: Pumpkin Ravioli
Cold extremities? Bloating? Stomach pain? Try eating a warming food like pumpkin.
Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that warming foods help boost blood circulation and bring heat to the organs, blood and cells, making them a dietary essential in the autumn and winter months.
Combine some pumpkin puree with egg yolk, parmesan, breadcrumbs and a dash of nutmeg for a delicious ravioli filling. Indulge with a glass of red wine, which contains vital antioxidants, for the perfect dinnertime combo.
A plate of pumpkin ravioli is the perfect autumn warming meal. Photo by kaythaney.
Do you swear by a magic food to keep yourself feeling revitalized and refreshed? Let me know in the comments.
If you liked this article, you might also like: 6 Edible Flower Recipe Ideas.
Main photo: Include one of these 8 magic foods in your next dish to start feeling great by Frank Kehren.