You know the feeling… when you are a little down, flat, ‘blue’. Well what if we told you that your diet is likely to be part of the cause? There is plenty of research out there that has proven that not putting the right fuel in your tank (food in your body!) will impact on your mood.
Just making a few simple changes to your diet can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing. Taking a long term approach to the right eating habits and following a mood boosting eating plan can alter those negative thoughts. Good mood food can also assist with anxiety and even improve the symptoms associated with depression.
Let’s look at six of the best natural mood boosters out there right now, all of which are easily accessible from your local supermarket!
An easily accessible, healthy staple and one of the key mood boosting foods is the humble egg! Eggs are high in protein, Vitamin D and B12. They are packed full of choline, a nutrient that plays a key role in supporting our nervous system, improves mood, helps produce neurotransmitters, as well as the antioxidant selenium. Foods rich in antioxidant can help protect and preserve the brain and our positive mood in the process. So yes, eggs can make you feel happier!
Ensuring a regular supply of salmon and other fatty fish can help lower anxiety. Experts will tell you this is because of their omega 3 fatty acids which is another key mood boosting nutrient that is important to feature in your diet. Omega 3 alters the brain chemicals linked with mood specifically dopamine and serotonin. Omega 3 has also been shown to reduce stress as well as assisting in maintaining a healthy weight as part of a balanced diet.
Who doesn’t like a cup of tea? Next time you are having a bad day try sipping on a cup of tea to help improve your mood. Tea really can be just the thing to calm your nerves and lift your spirits. Make green tea your go to. A study in Japan showed that drinking two to three cups of green tea a day can be linked to reduced depression symptoms in elderly people. This was probably due to a number of mood boosting nutrients that exist in green tea, including L-theanine which is an amino acid known to help fight anxiety. Green tea does also have some caffeine that will act as a pick up when you're feeling down. Weight management and drinking green tea have also been closely linked in many studies.
With far more antioxidants than any commonly seen fruit or vegetable, the blueberry delivers a myriad of brain boosting benefits. Packed with the antioxidant known as flavonoids, blueberries can help regulate mood, improve memory and protect the brain from aging.
Bursting with magnesium which is a mineral that will, among other things, help reduce anxiety and the stress this can cause. Any dark leafy vegetable like the humble spinach or kale are loaded to the max with magnesium so eating them as part of a healthy diet is a quick and easy way to get your daily vegetables and boost your brain health at the same time. Put them in your salad, drop them in your smoothie or steam them as part of any meal and reap the benefits this magnesium juggernaut delivers.
Put your hand up if you are happy to see this beauty make the list! We all know chocolate makes you happy but do we know why? Well it's a number of very potent compounds including phenylethylamine which boosts endorphins which make you feel good! It’s also a good source of anandamide, often referred to as the ‘bliss chemical’. Studies of chocolate (yes, that is a job) show that it can improve your mood, plus it is a rich source of iron and antioxidants. Chocolate also has magnesium which can help you to relax. Keep in mind all good things in moderation, so don’t go crazy and ruin your healthy eating journey!