Did you know that eating the right foods can boost your mood? Foods high in omega-3 fats and certain vitamins can boost levels of feel-good brain chemicals. Oily fish contains omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for brain tissue and enabling neurotransmitters to work effectively. People with low levels are more prone to depression and low moods. Include more of these foods in your diet.
Oats, pulses and pasta release energy slowly to keep blood sugar and mood stable and help you stay calm. US researchers found carbohydrates play a vital role in enabling the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin, to enter the brain.
Greens like spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are a great source of folic acid – studies show that people with low levels are more likely to feel depressed. We need to boost are intake of these.
Chicken, turkey, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and chickpeas – these are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make mood-boosting serotonin.
Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient said to help lower the risk of depression.
Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, and low levels have been linked with depression, irritability and anxiety.
Eating more fruit and vegetables can lift your mood and energy, but you need seven to eight portions a day for a significant boost. After tracking the food diaries of 281 people for 21 days, researchers in New Zealand found when people ate this amount of fruit and veg (excluding juice and dried fruit), they felt calmer, happier and more energetic. One portion is 85g (3oz) – about one apple or the amount of veg that fits in your palm. Try half filling your plate with vegetables at eat meal and eating fresh fruit for snacks. Vitamin C found in citrus fruit produces feel-good endorphins and improves the body’s ability to cope with stress.
And finally chocolate, everybody’s favourite ‘pick me up’, contains the stimulants caffeine and theobromine as well as phenylethylamine, which helps trigger the release of feel good endorphins. You sometimes need to have a bit of this!