If you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps with the cold, wintry weather, or just need a little lift, there are foods for an instant mood boost that you can try, right now! From super-warming lentil soup to crunchy Brazil nuts, there are plenty of foods for an instant mood boost that will ensure you’re smiling all day long!
Rich in vitamins B6, C and A, as well as a source of tryptophan, potassium, iron and phosphorus, bananas are filled with carbohydrates to boost your mood. The vitamin B6 also assists your brain to convert tryptophan into serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ hormone. This is one of the best foods for an instant mood boost, and it’s perfectly portable! The high levels of potassium in bananas make them a great choice if you’re feeling tired or stressed.
High carb snacks which contain little or no protein and fat allow the amino acid tryptophan to flood your brain. This is then converted into serotonin, which boosts your mood. Other high carb, healthy snacks which can give you a little lift include air popped popcorn – so yummy!
Yoghurt is a rich source of vitamin D and calcium. Lack of vitamin D can cause heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and even depression. It’s vital to get enough vitamin D, but during the winter months there isn’t as much sun around, so you need to include vitamin D rich foods in your diet, making yoghurt the perfect choice. It’s also rich in calcium, which can help you to feel less anxious. Top your yoghurt with fresh berries or bananas for a healthy breakfast or snack at any time of day!
A warming bowl of lentil soup will not only help to fight the chill, it also helps your brain to produce more feel-good serotonin, leaving you in a happier and calmer mood. Lentils are a complex carbohydrate, so they also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, boost your iron levels (for more energy) and provide folate, which helps relieve depression and anxiety.
B vitamin deficiencies have been linked to depression, as your body may not produce enough serotonin if your intake of B vitamins isn’t adequate. B3, B6, B12 and folate can all be found in leafy green vegetables, so add spinach to soups and stir fries or enjoy an indulgent treat with Eggs Florentine.
Did you know that Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium? Eating just 3 Brazil nuts provides your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this vital mineral. Low selenium levels can increase feelings of anxiety, irritability, tiredness and depression, so adding Brazil nuts to your diet could boost your mood! Enjoy them plain as a light snack or chop them and sprinkle over yoghurt, salads or stir fries.
Sardines are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which boost mood and can help to alleviate depression. Omega 3 keeps your brain healthy and allows neurotransmitters to work more efficiently – this is because our brains are made up of 30% Omega 3 fatty tissue! Enjoy sardines as a snack or light lunch on toast – you’ll find plenty of tasty recipes using sardines online.
So what are you waiting for? Tuck into one of these foods right now and prepare to have a happy, bright and cheerful day! Whether you’re feeling down in the dumps because it’s cold and grey outside or have just had a bad day at work, eating some of these foods will soon help you to feel on top of the world again. Oh, and did I mention they’re all good for you too? What’s your favorite ‘pick-me-up’ snack?