Feeling blue? If you woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning and you can’t shake your bad mood , it might be tempting to invest in a large tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and crawl back under your duvet.
But what you eat actually plays a vital role in how you feel! So while chocolate ice cream might lift your mood, chances are it will only be temporary.
To kickstart your feel-good hormones and embrace a brand new day, (alongside plenty of fruit and veg) add our mood-boosting foods to your shopping list and you will soon reap the happiness rewards:
- Oats are an effective because mood booster of their low GI (glycaemic index) – they slowly release energy into the bloodstream, which keeps blood sugar and mood stable (as opposed to providing a rush that dips quickly, leaving you feeling more irritable). Oats also contain the mood-boosting mineral selenium.
This fruit is rich in potassium that improves brain function, vitamin B6 that calms our nerves, and tryptophan that gives us a happy feeling and regulates our mood swing.
3. Swiss chard
It is rich in magnesium that prevents depression and also helps to metabolize energy.
4. French Lentils
French Lentils are complex carbohydrate so, like bananas, help increase the brain’s production of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. This results in a calmer, happier state of mind with less anxiety.
They also help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, keeping your mood even. Plus, they’re high in folate – deficiencies in folate have been linked to depression and mania. And finally, lentils can help boost your iron levels, which will give you a nice shot of energy.
These are rich in healthy carbs, which boosts the glucose level in our body and decreases irritability.
Certain deficiencies in B vitamins have been linked to depression, as serotonin production can actually be hindered by low B vitamin levels. Important B vitamins to look out for include folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12, and eating leafy green vegetables – such as spinach or broccoli – will help keep your levels up.
7. Dark chocolate
There’s a reason why chocolate always seems to make things better. A small square of dark chocolate causes the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels. In a recent study, 30 people were given 40g of dark chocolate, over 14 days. The results showed that chocolate eaters produced less stress hormones and their anxiety levels decreased.