5 Foods To Boost Your Mood
Turning to food as a source of comfort is a relatable pastime for many of us. However, a diet full of processed and high-calorie junk food is not conducive to happiness. Studies show that a diet higher in processed foods with plenty of added salt, sugar and fat, is more likely to exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
To boost your mood and feel healthier in the long run, it is wise to stick to nutritious snacks or meals even when you feel low. In fact, some foods have been proven to benefit overall brain health and certain mood disorders. So, read on to discover healthy, mood-boosting foods.
Quick to eat on the go, this staple fruit is high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize positive neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Plus, bananas are full of fibre and natural sugar. Paired together, fibre slows down the rate that sugar is transmitted into the bloodstream, which allows for stable blood sugar levels and greater mood balance. Bananas also prevent cognitive decline and lessen mood-related symptoms of PMS.
What’s more, less ripe, greener bananas are a great source of prebiotics, helping feed good bacteria in your gut. A healthy gut microbiome is associated with lower rates of mood disorders.
A limited amount of caffeine can make us feel good by providing an energy boost. Research has also suggested that caffeine may help to relieve depressive symptoms. It is essential to limit your daily intake of caffeine as too much can increase anxiety and restlessness symptoms. Coffee is also known to stain our teeth, so be sure to brush after drinking that cuppa and get your teeth checked regularly. This dentist near me can give your smile a makeover.
Oats are a fantastic source of fibre and iron. Fibre slows the digestion of carbs so that sugar is released gradually into the bloodstream and your energy levels remain steady. Iron improves symptoms of fatigue, sluggishness, and mood disorders. I love overnight oats, which you can customize to include the fruits and nuts you love. The recipe is made before you go to bed and stored in the fridge – leaving you more time in the morning.
- Legumes, beans, and lentils
Full of feel-good nutrients. Beans and lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, which can increase levels of neurotransmitters that help regulate our moods like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. You can cook beans and lentils in many ways. For example, this giant bean dish is hearty, and its recipe takes inspiration from traditional Greek food. For a nutritious snack, homemade hummus is a delicious dip for flatbread or crudités.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants which can increase serotonin levels and prevent cognitive decline. It is also naturally high in iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, all of which benefit our health. Like any food, chocolate is best enjoyed in moderation – around 28 grams of chocolate a day is the recommended maximum.