What we eat has an impact on our mood. It can either lift our mood and raise endorphins (feel good hormones) or do the opposite and raise stress levels.
According to Patrick Holford these are the common nutritional imbalances that are known to worsen your mood and motivation:
1. Blood sugar imbalances (Associated with excessive stimulant and sugar intake)
2. Lack of B Vitamin (Folate, B12)
3. Lack of essential fats (Omega
4. Lack of amino acids that are precursors to Serotonin and Noradrenalin
To feel happier we should choose those foods that correct or prevent the above imbalances.
Here are five foods that I call
good mood food
and simple ways that you can incorporate them into your daily meals:
- Those rich in omega 3 fatty acids (found in seeds, avocado and oily fish such as fresh tuna, salmon, mackerel).
Happy tip Eat oily fish at least twice a week and sprinkle seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) on your cereal, stir-fries and salads.
- Green veggies such as spinach and broccoli – these are rich in Folate which helps maintain normal levels of mood-boosting serotonin.
Happy tip Add them to salads, stews, or have them as a side steamed. Get creative and use them in green smoothies/ juice.
- Nuts- Walnuts and almonds are the healthiest of all nuts. They contain the B group of vitamins, magnesium, zinc and omega oils that help to keep cortisol (a stress hormone) levels low. Also, they are a good source of energy, balance out sugar cravings and they aid metabolism.
Happy tip Stick to a handful a day that you can sprinkle on salads, cereal or pair with a fruit as a snack.
- Fruits – Bananas offer serious mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates. This combination gives you a mood and energy boost without the blood sugar spike.Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain nutrients that help reduce stress and depression.Happy tip Eat them as a snack or add them to smoothies, cereals.
- Reduce sugar and stimulants (caffeinated drinks and smoking).
Happy Tip: Swop with green tea or chamomile tea.
As Hippocrates the father of medicine said:
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
So how about making a few changes to your diet and see what happens to your mood.
Take care and remember to keep on creating a life of joy that you are meant to be living right now…
Dr G Chiba