Us humans have these things called feelings. We experience feelings of sadness, depression, anger, lack of motivation, happiness, despair, anxiousness but often cannot pinpoint why we are feeling this way.
You know, that feeling of the can’t be F***ed’s for no apparent reason, with the feeling itself leaving you feeling even more frustrated.
What we do know (over in the land of nutrition) is that certain foods we eat can influence how we feel. Some make us feel positive and some can leave us feeling quite negative and down.
It all comes down to a daily choice of what we choose to put in our mouth and fuel our bodies with. Food is clearly linked to the way we feel and it is possible to have control over emotions by becoming more conscious of the food we consume.
We may also be able to gently educate those around us when we may be suffering.
Certain foods that we consume, that the body doesn’t recognise as foods have the potential to make us feel irritable, moody, tired, cause aches and pains, headaches and migraines.
Genetically modified foods such as corn, soy, vegetable oils and additives such as MSG, preservatives, colours and flavours all have the ability to influence our mood.
It is important to remember that we have complete control over what we put into our bodies and it is empowering to know that there are changes that you can make right now to help boost your mood!
Below are my top 10 favourite mood enhancing foods:
- Fermented foods
Fermented foods are packed full of probiotics which are essential for rebuilding the good bacteria in the gut. There are many important functions that take place in our gut, serotonin production (the happy hormone) being one of them, by microbes, such as lactobacillus and bifidus. Without the presence of good bacteria in the gut, it can lead to low serotonin levels, among other mood regulating neurotransmitters like dopamine, adrenaline and melatonin.
Now let’s be honest here, who doesn’t like chocolate? There must be a logical, scientific reason why we crave chocolate when we are feeling upset, right? Well, the magnesium in cacao acts to calm the nervous system and is needed for serotonin production (ahhhh, that explains it!). There may also be other benefits from the components of the cacao such as flavonoids, which have an extremely positive effect on the brain. Cacao has an euphoric effect on our brains, which makes us feel at peace with the world. For some seriously delicious chocolate recipes, click here!
- Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic salmon is one of the richest natural dietary sources of the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; DHA and EPA. Just a 200g single serve of Atlantic salmon provides an entire day’s worth of requirement of these essential fats. The fats play a powerful role in improving the body’s cells ability to take up essential hormones, including those involved in mood regulation.
Turmeric is my absolute favourite spice! It is also proven to be one of the most potent and powerful dietary anti-inflammatory that can lower levels of anxiety and depression. Check out my turmeric latte recipe here – perfect for the cooler months.
Eggs packed full of the vital nutrient choline which has been shown to have a number of vital functions including optimal cell membrane function and neurotransmission thought to be related to mood and energy levels. Check out my power packed protein muffins that are loaded with egg goodness here.
- Green Tea
If you are like me, you love green tea but did you know that drinking it regularly can help to regulate blood glucose levels, can help keep you alert and hydrated and anecdotally helps to manage those annoying sugar cravings.
Walnuts are rich in essential fats that are known to improve cell health. A handful of walnuts each day can help to improve wall composition. Happy cells, happy life!
Greens are filled with an abundance of micronutrients that are important to keep our bodies functioning optimally. These micronutrients are essential for the body to eliminate toxins.
Liver is a fantastic source of B vitamins, iron and zinc which are all vital for energy production and mood regulation.
Flaxseed is packed full of vitamin B6 and omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to create a delicious, bad mood-blasting meal.
I’d love to hear from you, what are your favourite mood boosting foods? Comment down below and don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates about new recipes and posts on the blog.