Tired? Grouchy? Feeling lousy? We’ve all been there! Whilst there are many things that can affect your mood, the food that we eat can have a huge impact on how we feel. Some foods in particular can help to stabilise your mood and promote feelings of happiness by encouraging the release of the happy hormone; serotonin. So what foods should you be eating to beat those blues? Read on for these Top 5 Foods to Improve Your Mood!
Oats are a great superfood and can definitely help to boost your mood. Firstly, they’re a complex carbohydrate meaning that they release energy slowly and help to keep you fuller for longer. In turn, this helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable and can prevent feelings of irritability that come with the mid-morning sugar crash. Oats are a great breakfast option and you can be as creative with them as you like; try adding fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butters, cinnamon, coconut or anything else! My favourite breakfast is wholegrain rolled oats with chopped banana. The banana adds great texture, flavour and also provides you with a healthy dose of potassium.
2. Oily fish
Oily fish contains Omega 3; an essential fatty acid that is vital for normal health. Recent evidence has shown that Omega 3 helps to reduce cytokine levels in the body which in turn could alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. The best types of oily fish to eat are salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. If you’re not the biggest fan of eating fish then you can always buy Omega-3 supplements instead.
3. Chicken & turkey
These white meats are a great source of protein and are perfect for preparing quick, simple and healthy meals. Not only that, but they are good to eat if you’re struggling with your mood as they contain high levels of a non-essential amino acid called tryptophan which stimulates the production of serotonin. As well as this, chicken and turkey are packed with selenium. Recent studies have shown a possible link between low levels of selenium in the body and symptoms of depression.
Eggs are my all-time favourite food because they taste great, are mega nutritious and you can have them at breakfast, lunch or dinner. A study by The Happy Egg Company found that one of the reasons that eggs make you happy is simply because of the colour. Believe it or not, bright-coloured foods such as yellow release happy hormones which we associate with joy. Aside from this, eggs also contain the amino acid tryptophan which again stimulates the release of serotonin.
5. Dark chocolate
“How can chocolate be healthy and improve my mood?” I hear you say. Well, chocolate gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but it all depends on what kind of chocolate you’re eating. The higher the cocoa content, the better. Dark chocolate contains two types of antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids which are great for your overall health. It also tastes great and contains serotonin which stimulates the production of endorphins. However, don’t overdo it and eat the whole bar (every time) or the calories will quickly add up. Try to stick to 2-3 squares a day, or find your own reasonable dose!
So, there you have it – top 5 favourite healthy foods that can be incorporated into your diet to enhance moods. From eating these foods on a regular basis you’ll find that you’re fuller for longer, satisfied with what you’re eating and improving your mood significantly. A further benefit is that you’re not left merely consuming processed foods as you’re substituting them with a nutrient-rich diet; a mood-booster in itself leaving you feeling happier and healthier into the bargain! What foods do you find affect your mood? Tell us below or @KeepFitKingdom !