The last year has turned our world upside down and thrown many lives into chaos. Taking care of our mental health and wellbeing is more important now than ever, especially since many of us are unable to see the people we love, losing our jobs, expereincing money struggles, and many other problems. While exercise is a great mood booster and important for overall health, nutrition is key, too. Your nutrition should support your exercise regime, as well as give you energy and boost your mood. Foods and mood are more closely linked than most realise!
Here, we’re going to take a look at 7 mood boosting foods that could help you to get through lockdown with your mental health intact.
Mood Boosting Foods To Include In Your Diet
Just a small square of dark chocolate can be a god-send for your serotonin and endorphins. Eating a square or two of this chocolate per day can help to decrease stress hormones and anxiety over time.
Deficiencies in B vitamins have been linked to low mood, as serotonin is hindered by low B vitamin levels. From just one cup (30 g) of spinach you’ll get 30% of your RDA of B vitamins! It can easily be added to sandwiches, stir fries, soups, and even smoothies. If it’s good enough for Popeye it’s good enough for you.
Those who are low in Omega 3 fatty acids can be susceptible to depression and low mood. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines will help you to keep your brain cells flexible, as these fatty acids make up a large portion of our brain tissue. Neurotransmitters will work more effectively when you eat at least 1 serving per week.
Sweet potatoes contain carotenoids, a brilliant antioxidant. Low levels of this antioxidant are closely linked to depression! It also contains Vitamin B6, which helps promote the production of the “feel good chemical” and neurotransmitter in your brain, Seretonin.
Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium. Those who are low in this mineral struggle with increased rates of depression and irritability, as well as fatigue and anxiety. These nuts make a great mid morning snack or breakfast topper, and just 3 of them a day will help you to reach your RDA.
Bananas are wonderfully high in amino acids, and also contain tryptophan, vitamins A, B6, C and fibre. The carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, while the vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into the mood-boosting hormone serotonin.
Oatmeal makes a wonderful breakfast food as it fills us up and brings comfort. Not only that, it’s a great mood stabilizer. The carbs elevate blood sugar levels, and boost serotonin. The carb absorption is slow in comparison to sugary products, meaning you will avoid those spikes and valleys that can wreak havoc with our mood.
Get In Touch With Our Swansea Nutritionist Today
If you’d like further help and advice based on your nutritional needs, we encourage you to reach out to our Swansea nutritionist. Our personal nutritionist will provide you with a number of solutions to help your healthy eating journey, support your exercise regimens, and get tailored plans for your individual requirements. We take a supportive, motivational approach to your health – get in touch today!