A healthy handful of foods to appease the emotional eater

What not-bad-for-you foods are best to have on hand for emotionally weak moments? Experts offer a few suggestions.

Complex carbohydrates

Eat 100 percent whole grain products that will provide you with lasting energy to keep your mood upbeat, such as 100 percent whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, black beans and even fruit.

Why: Stay away from refined (packaged), carbohydrates.They are digested quickly and lead to a dip in energy and a rebound in hunger a few hours later.

Consume protein regularly

Eat healthy lean protein such as seafood, tofu, quinoa and low fat dairy.

Why:The addition of protein to your meal can help slow the absorption of the carbohydrates. Dopamine and norepinephrine are released after eating protein, too.These chemicals in the brain leave your body feeling happy and alert.

Vitamin B12 foods

Eat whole grain breakfast cereals (enriched), lean beef, low fat dairy, eggs, shellfish and lentils. Why: Studies have shown that B12 may play a significant role in serotonin production. Studies also have shown that low B12 levels can be associated with depression, so make sure to eat your enriched grains.

Stay hydrated

Water infused with lemon, limes, strawberries and even lavender can be a nice change of pace. Green tea and decaffeinated coffee are also great choices. Stay away from sugary liquids that will only provide you with a short boost.They will be followed by an unwanted crash.

Why:When you are dehydrated you are more likely to feel fatigued and therefore in a bad mood.