It’s been a hectic few weeks hence; we’ve been pretty quiet lately! It’s been a rollercoaster ride for me recently, which got me looking into mood boosting foods. Ok, there isn’t food that can completely turn around a bad day but a healthy diet can significantly impact on your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health. There are a number of studies out there that reveal that what you eat affects how you feel.
1. Indulge in some dark chocolate!
A small piece of dark chocolate can up your energy levels and give your mood a lift by causing the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels – in translation – those feel-good chemicals! The darker the chocolate you eat, the better. Eat 40g a day for two weeks to reduce stress hormones and decrease anxiety levels.
2. Nuts and seeds especially Brazil nuts
Boost your mood by munching on nuts and seeds! To name a few, brazil nuts, walnuts, flax seeds, cashews, almonds, pecans, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds too. Each are loaded with vitamins and minerals and can improve your mental health in its own way. They may be tiny, yet powerful and great to snack on!
3. Eat fish several times a week
Eat more fatty oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel, barramundi and rainbow trout. The omega-3 fatty acids will keep your brain healthy, boost concentration levels and improve your mood by keeping brain cells flexible so the brain’s messaging chemicals can function properly and effectively. Research has shown that people who are deficient in omega-3 may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, decreased sex drive and a low mood.
4. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-nana.. Go bananas!
Start your day with a banana for breakfast or add it to your smoothie. They offer serious mood-lifting power and energy, with their combination of the important amino acid tryptophan and also vitamins B6, A, and C, fiber, phosphorous, potassium, iron, protein, and healthy carbohydrates.
5. Eat more leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, collards and also broccoli are great sources of the B vitamin including mood-boosting folate. Studies have shown that low folate levels increases the risk of depression, fatigue and poor memory. Greens also are rich in magnesium and lutein, which helps up energy levels and improve memory.
6. Get with the beets
There is so much goodness packed in beetroot. The betaine in them is a recognised mood enhancer, which results in a calmer, happier state of mind.
7. Oysters. You either love them or hate them
Oysters are high in many essential nutrients like zinc and contain a protein that’s rich in an amino acid called tyrosine. It is proven to calm the body, enhance your mental function and elevate your mood.
8. Indulge in some delicious Greek yoghurt
This will take the edge off and make you feel good! It is rich in calcium and contains twice as much protein as traditional yoghurt, which can raise levels of mood-boosting neurotransmitters in your brain, easing mood swings, depression and anxiety. Research showed that women who consume a diet consisting of 1,300mg of calcium a day are less weepy, irritable and depressed before their menses.
9. Even your mood with whole grains
Eat whole grains to trigger the release of serotonin. To keep an even mood all day long, add whole grains such as oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta and brown rice into your diet throughout the day. Don’t forget carbs are the fuel that keeps your body running, and they are also packed with protein and nutrients!
10. Those tiny lentils
Lentils may look small, but there are many benefits from eating them. With just one cup, it will provide you with your recommended daily intake of folate, an essential mood-boosting nutrient which will help your brain function at its best and make you feel good! Lentils can also boost your iron levels which will give you an energy boost and therefore put you in a better mood.
11. Sunny side up
For a bright start to your day, eat eggs. It appears there may be more to the phrase, ‘sunny side up’ than meets the eye! The egg is rich in protein, omega 3 and 6 fats, zinc, selenium, cholin, tryptophan and vitamin D – all links to improving mood and keeping you full and energised.
Mussels are filled with vitamin B12 which is essential for normal nervous system functioning and stabilising your mood. However, consume moderately as mussels are high in sodium content.
13. Turkey is not just for Christmas
Who said turkey is just for Christmas?! Turkey is low fat and high in protein and a great source for tryptophan, selenium and vitamin B6 making it a good mood booster. It also contains amino acid tyrosine that helps reduce symptoms of depression.
14. and.. avocado
Add avocados in to your diet and absorb all of its benefits! Avocados are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and healthy fats that go along with elevating your mood. They are also packed with B vitamins, the amino acid tryptophan, mood-enhancing vitamin E and folic acid.
and don’t forget to get a little bit of sun for your daily dose of vitamin D!