Now, before you reach for your Deliveroo app and order half a dozen Krispy Kreme’s, understand that we’re not talking about “comfort food” here; we’re talking about healthy foods that can actually improve your mood on a chemical level. Whilst it is important to mention that your mood can be influenced by many different factors including stress, environment and lack of sleep (to mention a few), there is still a definite relationship between nutrition and mental health. So, here are a few healthy foods that could help turn your frown upside down.
Dark Chocolate: yes, chocolate might be an obvious one, but dark chocolate specifically contains loads of mood boosting compounds. Besides the sugar being an instant energy kick, caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine are also present in dark chocolate making 1-2 blocks of 70% and above the chocolatey goodness the perfect “pick me up”.
Fatty Fish: fish such as salmon, sardines and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are a vital group of essential oils as your body is unable to produce these itself. Salmon also contains EPA and DHA which are linked to lowered levels of depression. Whether you consume it raw or cooked, eating Salmon a couple times a week is a great way of increasing those good vibes.
Avocado: you may have heard Avo being referred to as “the good kind of fat”, but did you know how good it actually is for you? Rich in fibre and Vitamins E, C and B6, Avocados also include Vitamin B5 which helps repair neurotransmitters. Avo Toast for breakfast anyone?
Bananas: bananas are very high is vitamin B6 which helps manage the happy neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. When paired with good fibre, the slow- release sugars can stabilize your sugar levels which ultimately leads to better mood control.
Eggs: eggs are high in vitamin D and B12 as well as being an “egg-cellent” source of protein. The Academy of Culinary Nutrition claim that eggs are their favourite mood boosting food as they include a nervous system supporting nutrient known as Choline which assists with mood improvement.
Whilst the above are just a few suggestions on mood boosting foods, it is vital to remember that your mood is a factor of many things. As we continue to face the difficulties brought upon us by Covid, it is still crucial to be aware of your mental health and ask for help should you need it. Improving your diet is important to self-care but is only a small part of the greater management system. However, it’s great to know that when you are feeling low, there are some delicious, healthy foods you can eat to help give you the necessary “pick me up”.
Looking for some healthy eating tips, click here.