Boost Your Mood with These 8 Wonderful Foods…
Everybody knows how important a healthy diet is for your physical well-being, but it’s equally important for keeping a healthy mind and mood. After-all, that age-old adage that ‘you are what you eat’ is never truer than when your diet is affecting how you think, feel and interact with the world.
This means that when you’re putting together a healthy meal plan or thinking about making a substantial change to your diet, it’s important to consider your mood and mental health as well as any physical goals that you might have. And, rather than lecturing you on foods to cut out of your diet, today we’re going to take a positive approach by suggesting some mood-boosting foods that you can – and should – try to enjoy every day.
Sometimes you need a little pick-me-up, and nuts, particularly walnuts, are absolutely ideal for that. They’re chockful of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B6, which are great for boosting your mood. Better yet, they also contain vitamin B9 – and a deficiency in that has been linked to depression. Brazil nuts also help, since they’re rich in mineral selenium. If you’re lacking in selenium, chances are you’ll find yourself depressed and anxious, which Brazil nuts’ properties can help combat.
An excellent breakfast option, just one serving of porridge oats will not only give you a dose of selenium (a mineral which can help to bring up your mood), but also help to regulate your mood throughout the day. This is because oats provide energy that is slowly released into the bloodstream, avoiding a quick burst followed by an unpleasant crash by keeping your energy levels topped up as you go about your tasks.
We already loved bananas for being the perfect no-prep, on the go snack, but they also contain a huge range of minerals and nutrients that can help you get in a positive frame of mind. These include tryptophan, vitamin A, B6 and C, phosphorous, iron, fibre, potassium, and carbohydrate. It’s the tryptophan which is most important here since, with the help of the banana’s other nutrients, it will raise serotonin levels in the brain. This can have a positive impact on depression and anxiety as well as stress.
#4 Oily Fish
If you can make oily fish such as mackerel, tuna or salmon the focus of your main meal a couple of times each week then you’ll be feeling the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to ward off mood slumps by ensuring that your brain’s neurotransmitters are firing properly. These fish dishes taste great with rice, potatoes or on toast – although there are plenty of recipes out there if you’d like to get a little more adventurous.
Any dark green veg can give you a top up of essential B vitamins, B6 is especially vital for regulating moods and these are important for ensuring that your brain keeps making healthy levels of serotonin. Spinach also contains a healthy dose of magnesium which is important for better sleep, less headaches and for feeling more relaxed. I recommend spinach because it’s just so versatile: cook it up in your pasta, omelettes or stir-fry dishes, or simply add a cup to your smoothie to feel the same effects its delicious raw too!
Another great serotonin booster, turkey breast will also provide your body with melatonin, which will help to ensure that you get a proper night’s sleep, I see a real difference when Turkeys on my daily menu. Poor sleeping patterns are a huge factor when it comes to low mood. If you’re trying to work out which meats to include in your diet then turkey is probably the best option, especially since it’s good for your budget, too.
#7 Dark Chocolate
If you thought that we weren’t going to see any treat foods make it onto the list then this one is for you – I absolutely love Aldi 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, low on sugar and carbs and the bar comes in handy serving portions. Eat a couple of squares of dark chocolate a few evenings a week for a healthy release of endorphins and serotonin boost just before bed. Over time, dark chocolate can also bring down stress hormones such as cortisol, making it an important part of your daily routine.
#8 Green Tea
Although not a food but a drink and my morning routine favourite – a refreshing cup of green tea will have you ingesting L-theanine, antioxidants and amino acids, and these have health benefits which extend to your mind as well as your body. L-theanine in particular can bring down stress levels while also helping you with mental tasks. Add a slice of lemon for added health benefits.
Quick, Convenient & Healthy…
All of the foods that I’ve listed here aren’t just good for your mind, but are also incredibly easy to incorporate into your daily diet – making this one healthy eating plan that you shouldn’t struggle to follow.
Since it can be difficult to remind yourself to eat healthily once you’re already feeling down, it’s important to consider these foods as a preventative measure!
Of course, you can also prepare yourself some snacks such as overnight oats, frozen smoothie bags full of banana and spinach, or proportioned turkey salads to ensure that even when you’re too tired or stressed to put something together, these great mood-boosting foods can be part of your daily routine!